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(A.B* iSSjj MtD. 1S90) 


Received Decembex 7, 1919 • 








r I (• fMttI Alv lAfTXiJi I 




















A/i rig^his reserved 



of old upheaven from the abyss by fire . . . 
where fragments of forgotten peoples dwelt. 













The line between comparative and descriptive ethno- 
graphy is now very definitely laid down, and in spite 
of the occasional citation of illustrative parallels here 
and there, especially in the footnotes, it is to the 
second class that the present work claims to belong. 

The work is essentially a compilation from many 
sources, but differs from most books of that kind, 
first, in being based to a very large extent on 
materials hitherto unpublished, and accessible only 
through private channels of information, and secondly, 
in having been constructed with special knowledge of 
the subject and in a critical spirit. The need of such 
a work has long been felt by all who have interested 
themselves in the subject, and will be obvious to 
any one who glances over the Bibliography contained 
in the present volume. 

The method pursued by the authors, and the 
peculiarly heterogeneous nature of the materials at 
their disposal, have made it impossible to present to 
the reader an invariably harmonious and ordered 
narrative in a uniform and attractive style. Instead 
of this, he will, however, have within the compass of 
a pair of volumes the whole substance of what has 


been written about the Pagan Races of the Malay 
Peninsula by dozens of explorers and observers in 
scores of more or less inaccessible or obsolete books 
and periodical publications, supplemented by and 
critically collated with a great mass of the most 
recent original material collected on the subject. He 
will find in this book many facts, but few hypotheses : 
at the present stage of our study of these races the 
collection of definite data seems to be the most 
immediate duty, and such theories as are here put 
forward are intended to suggest lines of research for 
future explorers and students. 

The work has grown under the hands of its 
authors. Both had spent some years of their lives 
in districts partly occupied by Pagan tribes in the 
South of the Peninsula, and had been attracted to 
the study of their peculiarities primarily by the fact 
that some of these aborigines spoke strange non- 
Malayan dialects. In default of any record of their 
antecedents, it seemed that the problem of the past 
history of these races could be approached most 
readily from the linguistic side ; and though a more 
comprehensive survey of their physical and cultural 
characteristics has somewhat modified this view, there 
is no doubt of the importance of the evidence of 
language in this connexion. Both in speech and in 
blood the races dealt with in the present work are, 
however (except in small and comparatively circum- 
scribed areas), mixed and diverse, and it is only by 
unravelling the different strands which enter into 
their structure that we can hope to understand them. 


With this end in view, the several parts of the book 
dealing with their racial arid cultural characteristics, 
which had originally been arranged under the head- 
ings of the various subjects dealt with, were entirely 
rewritten upon a phylogenetic system, so as to throw 
into relief the differences which separate one race 
from another ; and in the part dealing with language, 
the several distinct elements of which their dialects 
are made up have been analysed in considerable 
detail. One great difficulty which besets a student 
of this subject is how to reconcile the sometimes 
apparently conflicting testimonies of anthropology 
and philolc^^ : while not assuming to have found the 
explanation, the authors of the present work claim 
that in laying bare some seeming contradictions in the 
evidence, they are clearing the ground for the recon- 
struction on a sound basis of the early history and 
ethnology of an important part of South-Eastern Asia. 
It is not, therefore, solely as a monograph on the 
particular tribes specially dealt with that the present 
work claims to be regarded, but also as a necessary 
preliminary to a general scientific survey of the races 
of Southern Indo- China and the Malay Peninsula. 
Resident as they have been for untold centuries in 
the Peninsula, these pagan tribes nevertheless have 
much affinity with some of the wild races of Indo- 
China, and thus form a link between these two 
regions. Moreover, the Malay population of the 
Peninsula presents characteristics which vary very 
distinctly in different districts, and in some parts it 

contains a strong strain of aboriginal blood, so that 
VOL. I a 2 


an investigation into the wild races is an essential 
preparation towards a scientific study of the Malays 
themselves. The authors hope that the material 
they have collected will serve as a basis upon which 
may be reared a more systematic and accurate study 
of all the races of the Malay Peninsula. There is 
great need of a thorough survey of the Peninsula as a 
whole, from the point of view both of geographical 
and ethnological science and of industrial and eco- 
nomic development. 

Such a work should be undertaken by the 
Governments of the Straits Settlements and the 
Federated Malay States, disposing as they do of 
ample revenues which they have always shown them- 
selves ready to spend freely on objects of material 
utility. Whereas the Governments of British India, 
the Netherlands Indies, French Indo- China, and 
even that enterprising novice among colonial adminis- 
trations, the American Government of the Philippines, 
have done, and are doing, a great deal in the way of 
promoting the scientific study of their respective 
countries and peoples, the Governments of the Malay 
Peninsula have as yet done very little in that direc- 
tion. The matter appears to have been overlooked, 
owing to the pressure of other business. Yet, apart 
from the high scientific value of such investigations, 
there are not wanting signs of the times that point 
to the supreme importance to European Governments 
in the tropics of intimately studying and carefully 
considering the peculiarities of the alien and less 
civilised races committed to their care. There has 


been, of late, in more than one quarter, a dangerous 
tendency to elaborate and Europeanise administrative 
and judicial machinery, and pari passu to lose touch 
with native ideas and customs, to push the native 
gently but firmly aside, and to impose upon him all 
manner of well-meant but complicated regulations, 
which he cannot in the least understand, and which 
often run counter to his social and religious principles. 
A more intimate study of the people of the country and 
their habits of life and thought is urgently required in 
order to avoid the growing danger of estrangement and 
want of sympathy between the rulers and the ruled. 

In such a survey of the Peninsula it is to be 
hoped and expected that the Government of Siam, as 
the suzerain of the Northern Malay States, would 
co-operate. Indeed, some of the preliminary work in 
that quarter has already been done by the Cambridge 
Expedition of 1 899-1 900, which visited the Siamese 
Malay States by the special permission and with the 
active and generous assistance of His Majesty the 
King of Siam. It was during the course of that 
expedition that the whole of the recent information 
relating to the Negritos of the Northern States, and 
now embodied in this work, was collected, as well as 
the material contained in the progress reports of the 
expedition to the British Association (Anthropological 
Section, 1900, 1901), and a very large mass of other 
anthropological matter, as yet unpublished. 

The title of the present work, which had been 
provisionally fixed as ** Wild Tribes " or ** Wild Races 
of the Malay Peninsula," was finally cast into its 


present form because it was felt that the point of 
religion (as between Mohammedan and non-Moham- 
medan) was perhaps a better dividing line, on account 
of its definiteness, than the vague, indefinite, and 
perhaps undefinable, quality of wildness. 

The title-page bears the names of two authors, but 
by far the greater part of the book (including the Intro- 
duction) was written by the one whose name stands 
first, the special task of the other having been confined 
to writing the part dealing with Language, together 
with the Appendix relating thereto, in the second 
volume. Each author has, as far as possible, revised 
and checked the work of the other, but the ultimate 
responsibility of each is to be apportioned to his own 
share of the book. 

Moreover, though the authors themselves have 
contributed the greater part of the original material 
which the book contains, they are indebted to others 
for a considerable amount of hitherto unpublished 
information, which has greatly enhanced the value of 
the work. Their acknowledgments are particularly 
due to Messrs. D. F. A. Hervey, C.M.G., H. Clifford, 
C.M.G., F. Emeric, A. Grubauer, C. D. Bowen, 
N. Annandale, H. C. Robinson, G. B. Cerruti, and 
H. Ling Roth, the Rev. H. E. Luering, Father W. 
Schmidt, Professor Rudolf Martin, and the Councils 
of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and 
Ireland, and the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic 
Society respectively, for information relating directly 
to the aborigines of the Peninsula and their lan- 
guages ; and to Messrs. A. Cabaton, A. Lavallde, the 


late p. Odend'hal (whose early death was a serious 
loss to the cause of Indo-Chinese research), S. H. 
Ray, G. A. Grierson, CLE., E. H. Man, CLE., Sir 
Richard Temple, CLE., W. L. H. Duckworth, and 
others, for help in connexion with cognate or allied 
races and languages. Several officers of the Govern- 
ment Service in the Malay Peninsula, particularly 
Messrs. L. Wray, junr., A. Hale, H. N. Ridley, and 
F. W, Knocker, have also been kind enough to read 
portions of the book in proof, and have contributed, 
as the fruit of their experiences, no small amount of 
material in the shape of comments and criticisms. 
Mr. A. Cabaton was good enough to read the Com- 
parative Vocabulary in proof, and his intimate know- 
ledge of several Indo-Chinese languages enabled him 
to enrich it by many valuable etymological sugges- 
tions. To him the authors are also indebted for 
access to the unpublished material of Messrs. P. 
Odend'hal and A. Lavallde. 

For the illustrations, which form a notable addition 
to the value of the work (the greater part having 
been taken specially for the occasion), the authors 
are also indebted to the help of many hands. 
Mr. T. J. M^'Gregor has contributed (at his own 
charges) the largest part of the original photographs ; 
others have been lent by Messrs. L. Wray, A. D. 
Machado, A. Hale, G. B. Cerruti, W. P. Hume, 
F. W. 'Douglas, T. Gardner, F. F. Laidlaw and 
Professor R. H. Yapp (the two last being members 
of the Cambridge Expedition), F. M. Elliot, R. F. 
Amott, and others, who cannot all be mentioned; 


while to Sir W. Hood Treacher, K.C.M.G. (formerly 
Resident-General of the Federated Malay States), 
Sir John Rodger, K.C.M.G., Messrs. E. W. Birch, 
H. C. Belfield, Cecil Wray, D. G. Campbell, 
F. J. Weld (Residents of the several States), 
R. N. Bland, recently Acting Resident Councillor of 
Malacca, H. W. Thomson, His Siamese Majesty's 
Assistant Adviser in Kelantan, A. T. Dew, and G. C. 
Bellamy, the authors owe special acknowledgments 
for their kind assistance in helping to get photographs 
specially taken for use in the present work. 

For permission to reproduce certain published 
illustrations, which were needed to explain the work 
of other writers, the authors are indebted to Professor 
A. Griinwedel, to the General Council of the Royal 
Museums (Museums Administration Department), 
Berlin, the Council of the Berlin Anthropological 
Society, Dr. von Traeger, Mr. H. Singer, the Editor 
of Globus, the firms of Georg Reimer, Berlin (pub- 
lisher to the Royal Museums Department), Friedrich 
Vieweg und Sohn, Brunswick (publishers of Globus), 
Gustav Fischer, Jena (publisher of Martin's Inland- 
stdmme), as well as to M. A. de Mortillet (for per- 
mission to reproduce the illustrations from L' Homme), 
to Cambridge University (Museum of Archaeology 
and Ethnolc^y), for photographs of the Skeat collec- 
tion, to the Council of the Anthropological Institute 
of Great Britain and Ireland, the Council of the 
Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, and to 
Messrs. Lambert and Co., photographers, of Singa- 
pore. To Messrs. Stanford they are indebted for 


permission to reproduce their map of S.E. Asia, to 
Dr. P. Geiger for a map showing the Distribution of 
Ipoh, to Mr. F. F. Laidlaw for help in the arrange- 
ment of Part I., and to Mr. N. W. Thomas for much 
generous assistance in the revision of the proofs, and 
for the compilation of the Indexes. 

To these and many other willing helpers the 
authors hereby express their most hearty thanks ; 
and they venture also to anticipate on behalf of their 
readers a high appreciation of the unselfish and 
public-spirited manner in which these numerous colla- 
borators have contributed valuable material towards 
a work that has not been undertaken in a commercial 
spirit but for a scientific purpose. 

Lastly, acknowledgments are due to the publishers 
and printers for undertaking the work in the same 
spirit, and executing it in a manner which it must be 
left to the reader to appraise. The date of publication 
has been repeatedly postponed by the recurring ill- 
health of one or other of the authors, and this has, of 
course, thrown an additional burden on the publishers, 
to whose forbearance under these trying circumstances 
the authors feel that special recognition is due. 

August 1906. C. O. BLAGDEN. 




BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . xxv 



Racial Characters . 19 

Racial Affinities — General 24 

Note by W. L. H. Duckworth on "Fasciculi Malay- 

ENSES" ....... 96 

Note on Diseases of the Aborigines .100 


Food— Stimulants — Narcotics .109 

Dress ....... 137 

Habitations . .168 




Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing .... 200 

Modes of Barter .225 


Weapons and Implements ..... 242 


Cultivation . . -338 

Arts and Crafts ...... 374 


Decorative Art 395 

The Social Order ...... 494 

Dealings with Other Races 521 

APPENDIX . -571 



The Lair of Mowgli ..... Frontispiece 
The Langat River near the Hot Springs, Dusun Tua 

(Selangor) ..... Introduction 

The River Langat at Lubo' K'lubi (or Kfilubi), Selangor . „ 

Upper Reaches of the Klang River, near Sakai Houses 

(Selangor) ...... 


N^rito Type — Andamanese .28 

N^rito Type — Semang of Perak .28 

Aboriginal Dravidian Type — ^Veddas of Ceylon . 29 

Suggested Aboriginal Dravidian Type — Sakai of Perak . 29 

S^^gested Aboriginal Malayan or Jakun Type — " Savage Malays " 

of Pekan, in Pahang (Heathen) . 31 

Civilised Malay Type — Chiefs of Negri Sembilan (Mohammedan) 3 1 
N^rito Type — Head of Semang Man, Kedah -34 

Negrito Type — Head of Semang Man, Perak -34 

Suggested Aboriginal Dravidian Type — Head of Sakai Man, 

Perak ....... 35 

Suggested Aboriginal Malayan, or " Savage Malay " Type — Jakun 

of Sungei Ujong . -35 

Mixed Group of Ulu Jelai Sakai, Pahang 3 8 

Group of Ulu Jelai Sakai, Pahang - 39 

Bujo*, a young Jakun, mixed with strong Negrito Strain . 40 

Head of Bujo' in Profile, showing marked Prognathism . .40 

Young Sakai Girl in Centre (mixed Type showing strong Negrito 

Strain) . 41 

Jakun with marked Sakai Strain, Selangor 42 

Jakun of Mixed Type, Bukit Prual, Selangor -43 

Ycop Sandah, Wife and Child, Ulu Jelai Sakai with Negrito 

Strain, Pahang -44 

Sakai Girl (showing Negrito Strain) 45 

Semang of Kuala Kenering, Uhi Perak . 54 


Sakai of S. Perak 

Sakai Group, Ulu Kali, Ulu Selangor 

Old Sakai Man, " The Father of all the Sakais," Ulu Berang, 

Eight Miles from Tanjong Malim, South Perak 
Mixed Sakai-Semang Type, Ulu Batu, Selangor . 
Mixed Sakai-Semang Type, Ulu Batu, Selangor . 
Sakai Boy with Blowpipe, Ulu Sungkai, S. Perak 
Sakai Boy (probably of Ulu Slim) 
Group of Jakun, showing Negrito and Sakai Blood, at Ulu Batu, 

Selangor ..... 
Mixed Jakun Type, Bukit Prual, Selangor 
Group of Jakun (Aboriginal Malayans) from Klang 
Orang Laut or Sea-Jakun (four specimens) 

A, Profile of Semang Girl with Skin Disease 

B, Semang Girl (Full Face) with Skin Disease . 
Smallpox Patient in Seclusion, Ulu Slim (South Perak) 
Semangs preparing Poisonous Yams for Food (-4, B) 
Semang of Kedah having a Meal 
Sakai cooking Rice in Bamboo Vessels, Chenderiang (Batang 

Padang, Perak) 
Sakai of Ulu Slim (Perak) 
Negrito Dress and Articles of Apparel 
Semang Dress . 
Semang and Pangan Girdles 
Fungus-String Girdle of Semang Woman (Kedah) 
Seed and Tooth Necklace of Semang Woman (Kedah) 
Semang with Girdles of Malay Cloth 
Semang Combs .... 

Sakai Girl of South Perak 
Sakai Women in Malay ** Sarongs," showing Necklaces, Armlets, 

and Bracelets ...... 

Sakai Family, showing Head-dresses, Necklaces, and Nose-quiJls 
Sakai Family, showing Nose-quills, Necklaces, Armlets, and Leif- 

Omaments . . 1 . 

Sakai Group, Ulu Lui, Ulu Langat, showing Women and Girls in 

Malay Dress . . . /. 

Aboriginal Group at Ulu Kali, Ulu Selangor, showing Adoptioin 

of Malay Dress ..... \. 

Pangan Weather Screen of Palm Leaves (Ulu Kelantan) I 

Interior of Round Leaf-Shelter of Pangan (Ulu Kelantan) .| 

Plan and Sections of Long (or Oval) Shelter used by Semang at 

Siong, Kedah ...... 



. 58 
















Semang at Ulu Jelentoh, Gopeng, Kinta, with Nipah-Palms (Nipa 

fruticctns) in Background, newly cut for Thatch work . 178 

Semang standing at side of Hut (at Sungei Tapah), near Batu 

Gajah, Kinta, Perak . .179 

An Invisible Sakai Village (up the Big Tree in the Centre of the 

Picture) .180 

Sakai Tree Hut, Sungei Berang, Perak, Seven Miles from Tanjong 

Malim . . . .181 

Sakai Huts at Chenderiang, Batang Padang, Perak .182 

Tree Hut, Ulu Batu, about Twelve Miles from Kuala Lumpur, 

Selangor . .183 

Sakai House at Changkat Kerbu or Korbu .184 

House of Aborigines at Kuala Seleh, Ulu Klang .185 

Huts at Durian Chandong, Ulu Langat, about Three Miles above 

Klubi, but on a Tributary of the Langat Men absent 

Hunting . . .185 

Sakai House, Lui River, Ulu Langat, Selangor . . .186 

Ground Hut with thatched Roof, Ulu Kuang, about Three Miles 

from Kuang Station, Selangor .186 

Besisi Huts about One and a Half Miles from Sepang . .187 

Besisi Hut about One and a Half Miles from Sepang (Kuala 

Langat District of Selangor), showing overlapping Gable- 

Ridge . . .187 

Sakai with Spring-Trap, Perak . . . . ^ 206 

Sakai with Trap, Perak — Boy explaining its Action 206 

Sakai Boy watching Rat-Trap, Gunong Ubi, Ulu Slim 207 

Sakai Boy watching Pig-Trap (with Spring-Spear), Ulu Slim 207 

Sakai with Trap set in an Opening of a Game Fence 208 

Types of Fish-Hooks (Natural and Artificial) 209 

Sakai Fish-Dam, for catching Fish in the Kinta River at Lubo' 

Kelah("L6bou Kela") . . .209 

Sakai in Jungle Accoutrements, Sungei Berang, Seven Miles from 

Tanjong Malim . . . . . .212 

Aboriginal Group ready for Hunting, Bukit Prual, Kepong, 

Selangor . .213 

Sakai Fishing at Ulu Kali, Ulu Selangor .214 

Aborigines Fishing at Ulu Klang .214 

Two Sakai Women with Pet Jungle-Pigs. Ulu Slim, Perak 215 

Sakai Women and Children with Pet Jungle-Pig .215 

Group of Jakun with Blowpipes, showing Man (in Centre) with 

Back-Basket, Blowpipe, and Chopper .218 

Hunting Party with Blowpipes, Bukit Prual, Kepong, Selangor . 219 



Aboriginal Group at Lubo* K4ubi, Ulu Langat, : t .[<' n . 220 

Jakun Women (Ulu Klau, Pahang), with Huntirj^ ! in Fore- 
ground . . .221 
Stone Implements from Pahang -244 
Jakim Man in Hunting Accoutrements . .245 
Semang Implements . . .270 
Two Semang Bows, Two Quivers, and their Arrows .271 
Semang Apparatus for poisoning Blowpipe Darts .281 
Padang the Semang collecting Poisonous Sap from the Upas 

Tree. Ulu Siong, Kedah . . .281 

Semang Blowpipe Apparatus . .282 

Semang of Sumpitan, near Lenggong, Upper Perak, showing 

Blowpipes and Quivers . .283 

Sakai of South Perak, with Blowpipes .296 

Sakai Quivers ....... 297 

Sakai of South Perak, carrying Blowpipe . .298 

Sakai Men, One (standing) with Blowpipe and Quiver, the Other 

(seated) with Back-Basket . 299 

Man using Blowpipe, Bukit Prual, Selangor ; at his left Side is 

the open Quiver with Darts . . -304 

Jakun using Blowpipe, Lubo' K'lubi, Ulu Langat, Selangor 305 

One of the Upas (Antiaris) Trees that furnish the Dart Poison, 

Berang River, Perak . . . .312 

Young Upas Tree ("Pohun Ipoh"), near Berang River, 

Perak . . . .312 

Boiling the Poison for the Blowpipe Darts . -313 

Besisi Quivers containing Darts poisoned with Upas Sap . 314 

Dart-Quivers and Poison-Case . . -314 

Drying- Rack for Blowpipe Darts employed by the Besisi 315 

Besisi Apparatus for brewing Dart-Poison . . -315 

Kuan tan Darts with Poison Spatula . -315 

Jakun walking up a Tree, Ulu Batu, Selangor . -338 

Sakai Tree-Felling: One Man (on Staging) starting Work, the 

Other (on the Left) climbing up to assist him . -339 

A Sakai Plantation at Changkat Bertam on the River Raya (Perak) 344 
Sakai Plantations near the Head- waters of the River Kampar 

(Perak), seen from the Summit of Mt. Chabang . -344 

Aboriginal Hill Clearing, with Huts, Ulu Batu, Selangor 345 

Aboriginal Hill Clearing, with mixed Cultivation (Tapioca and 

Bananas), Ulu Batu, Selangor . . . -345 

Aboriginal Women husking Padi with Pestle in large wooden 

Mortar, Ulu Klau, Pahang . -352 



AlMmginal Women husking Padi (showing End-View of Mortar) 

Ulu Klau, Pahang ...... 353 

Tapioca Plantation, with Group of Aborigines, Ulu Batu, Selangor 358 
Cultivation of the Tapioca-Plant (on Left) and Sugar-Cane (in 
Centre) — Aboriginal Woman in For^round, Ulu Kali, 
Selangor ....... 359 

White Cloth of Upas Bark ..... 376 

Semang Baskets ...... 376 

Sakai Men with Back-Basket and Blowpipes, Ulu Slim, S. Perak 377 
Negrito Industries ...... 384 

Group at Sungei Ledong, Ulu Klang. These Sakai are Lampan 

(Stream-Tin) Workers 385 

Semang Mats and Baskets ..... 386 

Jakun Betel-Wallets 387 

Aboriginal Women washing for Stream Tin with Wooden Pan, 

Kuala Seleh, Ulu Klang, Selangor . .388 

Encampment of Aboriginal Stream -Tin Workers, Ulu Klang, 

Selangor ....... 389 

Development of the Patterns from the Chevron . -414 

Quivers for Blowpipe Darts employed by the Semang of Kedah . 414 
Semang Quivers ...... 414 

Semang Combs, Ulu Siong, Kedah -415 

Semang Receptacles . 415 

Charm-Patterns on Combs .... 426, 427 

Hypothetical Ixora Blossom and Comb explaining the Flower- 
Theory of Vaughan-Stevens . .428 
Specimens of Correct " Tin-weg " {ue, " Central-Panel ") Patterns 429 
Specimens of Correct " Was "-Patterns . 430 
Specimens of Correct " Pawer "-Patterns -431 
Charm-Patterns on Combs 432, 433 
Correction of Inaccurate Drawings -434 
Allied Representation of Parts of the Body 434 
Bamboo No. i. Bamboo No. 2. Bamboo No. 3. Bamboo No. 4 450 
Burial Bamboo of a Chief (" Sna-hut ") — unexplained -451 
Burial Bamboo of a Married Woman 
Burial Bamboo of a Man 
Birth Bamboo or Tahong 
Burial Bamboo of a Boy 
Burial Bamboo of a Girl 
Tube ("Gor" and "Gar") Patterns, Plate I. . .461 
Tube ("Gor" and "Gar") Patterns, Plate II. . . 462 
Tube ("Gor" and "Gar") Patterns, Plate III. . . 463 





Tube ("Gor» and "Gar") Patterns, Plate IV. . . .464 

Tube (" Gor " and " Gar ") Patterns, Plate V. . .465 

Tube (" Gor'' and «* Gar") Patterns, Plate VI. . . 466 

Specimens of " Sumpit" Patterns, Plate VII. . . 467 

Specimens of "Sumpit" Patterns, Plate VIII. . 468 

Specimens of " Sumpit " Patterns, Plate IX. . 469 

Specimens of " Sumpit " Patterns, Plate X. . 470 

Specimens of "Sumpit" Patterns, Plate XI. . .471 

Sakai Hairpins, Perak ...... 470 

Sakai Combs, Perak (two specimens) 470 

Bamboo Vessels used by Perak Sakai -471 

Quiver used by Perak Sakai . -471 

Bamboo Vessels used by Perak Sakai -471 

Bamboo No. I. — Charm Pattern of unknown use .472 

Fig. 7. — Magician's Staff . . -473 

Fig. 8. — Charm to invoke Aid of Argus-Pheasants against Centi- 
pedes and Scorpions .... 

Fig. 9. — Charm to cause Rain and protect Young Rice Plants 

Fig. 10. — Charm to keep away Ants 

Fig. 1 1. — Charm against two Kinds of Skin-Disease 

Fig. 1 2. — Hut- Building Charm (to facilitate Collection of Materials) 

Fig. 1 3. — Charm for driving away Demons 

Fig. 14. — Charm to send Centipedes to sleep and protect 

Gatherers of " Nipah "-Fruit 
Fig. 1 5. — Charm against Venomous Spiders 
Fig. 16. — Charm to facilitate Capture of Fish and protect the 
Anglers ...... 

Fig. 17. — Charm to protect the Crops from their Enemies 

Fig. 1 8. — Charm to bring Rain for the Crops 

Kuantan Dart-Quiver ..... 

Mantra Patterns ..... 

Besisi Zoomorphs ..... 

Model of Insignia of Besisi Batin or Chief 
Central Panels of Comb Patterns, Fig. 7 
Central Panels of Comb Patterns, Fig. 8 




Map showing Distribution of Ipoh (Upas- Poison) 



Th£ authorities enumerated in the following list are of course of a varying value, 
into whidi the personal equation to a large extent enters, nevertheless it is possible 
to make a rough classification which may be of service to intending students. To 
b^;in with, it should be perfectly evident that, although the work done by those 
writers who have actually had local experience is of immeasurably greater impor- 
tance in questions of fact than any, even the very best, work of home-staying writers 
can. be, yet in respect of deductions from, or in the scientific treatment of those 
hcts, the home-sta3ring student, with his easy access to libraries, museums, 
laboratories, and other scientific machinery, holds the field at a very great 
idvantage. It is necessary to draw attention to this point, because the fiill 
Bieasnre of credence to be given to any particular part of the material here got 
together cannot otherwise be properly arrived at. Broadly speaking, then, the 
entire series of writers here recorded may be briefly classified as follows : — 

{a) Writers with local experience, including not only government officials but 

European missionaries (chiefly French Roman Catholics), planters, and 

miners, to whom may be added a few scientific men who have acquired 

some local field-knowledge. 

{6) Scientific men who have no local field-knowledge, but who possess other 

advantages, as above. 
(r) Travellers without any scientific training, and at the same time without any 
adequate local knowlec^e. These might well be expected to be mere 
discoverers of " mareVnests,'' but taking their work as a whole, I am 
glad to be able to state that, though they have made some bad blunders, 
there are fewer of these than might be expected. 
The foregoing remarks being duly borne in mind, I have next to point out 
that the modem study ' of the Wild Races of the Malay Peninsula may be divided 
advantageously, from an historical point of view, into three main stages or 
periods of development : — 

The first of these stages covers, roughly speaking, the first half of the nineteenth 
century, from iSoo-1850. This period contains the name of no systematically 
trained anthropologist, and the evidence collected pending its duration rests upon 
the observations of various able but, firom a modem point of view, comparatively 
ontiained European observers, among whom may be mentioned. Sir Stamford 
Raffles, the founder of Singapore, William Marsden (author of the History of 
Sumatra, a Malay- English and English-Malay Dictionary, and other works), John 
Leyden (translator of the Malay Annals), John Crawfiird (a most prolific writer 
but much inclined at times to spread himself in mere speculation), John Anderson 
(anthor of the " Considerations "), P. J. B^bie, and Lieutenant Newbold, all of 
whom did much good pioneer work in the early days. 

The second period runs firom the year 1850 to about 1890. At the very out- 
set of this period the (for his time, remarkably) critical, accurate, and voluminous 
writings of J. R. Logan, based in the main on his own personal investigations, 
placed the study of these races on an altogether higher plane. At the same time 
the reports of travellers like Miklucho-Maclay, Miss Isabella Bird (the latter in a 

^ In this " modem study " are not, of It will of course be remembered that 

coozse, included the few scattered the Portuguese domination which com- 

Botioes firom Dutch sources (before the menced with the capture of Malacca by 

time of RaflSes), or from early Portuguese d' Albuquerque in 1 5 1 1 , was terminated 

writers such as Goudinho de Eredia, by their loss of Malacca to the Dutch 

who b the only one of these early in 1641, who ceded it in turn to 

authorities that is really worth quoting. England by treaty. 



more popular way only), Montano, and de Morgan, together with the great store 
of valuable information collected on the one hand by French Roman Catholic 
missionaries, such as P. Favre and P. Borie,^ and on the other hand by officials 
of the local governments, amongst whom may be mentioned Leech, Maxwell, 
Swettenham, (Major) M*Nair, Hervey, G. Bellamy, Hale, J. A. G. Campbell, and 
Lister, arrested the attention of European anthropologists and filtered through 
various channels into the works of Waitz, R^us, De Quatre£eiges, and A. H. 

The third period, which may be described as having lasted from about the year 
1890 to the present day (1906), is distinguished by the bxX that during its course 
some of the most eminent anthropologists of Europe, more especially of Germany, 
have themselves either personally or through their agents taken an active part in 
the work of inquiry. At the same time the excellent work done by the official 
element during the two preceding periods was continued and greatly extended by 
Clifford, Leonard Wray, Ridley, Kelsall, A. D. Machado, and Cemiti ; whilst as a 
representative of the non-offioal element during this period should be specially 
mentioned the name of Mr. Nelson Annandale, late of Balliol College, Oxford, 
and now Curator of the Indian Museum at Calcutta. Mr. Annandale first broke 
ground in the Peninsula as a member of the Cambridge Expedition of 1899, <^<1 
has since collected much valuable material on his own account, the results of his 
work being given in Fasciculi Malayenses. From the point of view of mere bulk, 
however, the greater proportion of Uie ethnographical material and notes collected 
during this period was got together by Vaughan-Stevens, and as it is in a just and 
reasonable estimate of this very material that one of the chief difficulties of dealing 
with this period consists, I propose here to discuss the matter in detail. In 1891 
Vaughan-Stevens, whose Christian name is given (by his German editors) as Hrol^ 
was commissioned by a group of the leading anthropologists of Berlin (the Rudolf 
Virchow Stiftung, headed by Virchow himself), in combination with the Berlin 
(Government) Ethnographical Museum, to undertake a systematic study of the 
Wild Races of the Malay Peninsula. From the very outset Vaughan-Stevens* work 
was to some extent shrouded in mystery and doubt, and his mode of action and 
even his character were criticised and assailed. He arrived under the segb of one 
of Europe's greatest anthropologists, and he styled himself, or at least passed as a 
"professor," yet he himself possessed, as his own work shows, no scientific 
or linguistic attainments, and could have had no right to any sort of academic 
title. Mr. H. N. Ridley, who knew him well, and with whom he sta3red, gravely 
doubted, in conversation with myself, whether his name were really Vaughan- 
Stevens at all, and told me that he had at least an alicUy presumably of Norse 
origin, i,e, Svensen. His dialect was a variety of the "cockney," apparently of 
the Islington variety ; he was uneducated and ignorant in many ways to a quite 
remarkable degree. On the other hand, he had travelled extensively in many parts 
of the world, and he was a fair observer. Martin, who was at great pains to follow 
up Vaughan-Stevens* tracks in the Malay Peninsula, with the express object of 
testing his veracity, charges him with the love of exaggeration for its own sake, and 
makes no less serious reflections in connection with some of his statements as 
to the extent and difficulty of his wanderings and methods of collecting specimens 
(see Martin, page 1 70 seqq. ). These exaggerations were no doubt due to the natural 
vanity of the man, and his love of self-glorification, and in the case of the latter he 

^ There has firequently been in other in the text) been accurate, unbiassed, 
parts of the world a tendency to dis- and helpful. This has also been the 
credit all reports of this kind when case in British North Borneo and Sara- 
made by missionaries, but I am able to wak, where the same sound pioneering 
say that in the Malay Peninsula the work accomplished by the missionary 
work done by them has in the main (in element has been testified to by Brooke 
spite of one or two exceptions dealt with Low (v. Ling Roth, op, cit,). 


maj himself have been deceived. But what has most detracted from the credit he 
has earned as a serious student b his reputation as a teller of after-dinner " yams," 
which certainly had something of the true Gilbertian ring about them, and it is no 
doabt this fBud that has most adversely affected the opinion of his work held by 
more than one authority of standing. Some of his stories, I have been informed, 
were capital, and Vaughan- Stevens was a bom raconteur,^ Yet even Rudolf 
Martin (page 174) himself hesitates to deny that there may be still some value in 
Vai^ian-Stevens* '* voluminous " communications (of course with the proviso that 
they must be most careAilly and critically handled and sifted from an expert 
point of view, before they can be safely r^arded as material for the comparative 
ethnologist) ; and his conclusion is, that if we eliminate from the material left 
behind by Vaughan-Stevens what may be styled the " accretions " of his own 
£uicy, there must yet a]wa3rs be left over a foundation of valuable fiu:ts the 
collection of which will remain Vaughan-Stevens' permanent contribution to the 
subject of our inquiry. 

It is with this view (which is also that of Blagden) that I desire to associate 
myself^ but I may here explain that in order to assist the reader and the student I 
have taken the precaution of having the uncorroborated or more doubt Ail portions of 
Vang^ian-Stevens* material (such as his remarks on " totemism," which, though to 
my mind hopelessly wide of the mark, are too important to omit) set in smaller 
type, except in cases of isolated fieicts or portions of a particular context, in which 
instances attention is drawn to the doubtful or inaccurate portion in the footnotes. 
An exception to this treatment had to be made in the dmpter on <' Decorative 
Art," where to avoid the perpetual alternation of small and large type, the doubtful 
and uncorroborated passages have been enclosed in square brackets, as has been 
rgtbined in the text It should also be here noted that I have, as a general rule, 
throughout my own {i.e, the non-linguistic) portion of this work (Parts I. -III. 
inclusive) taken the opportunity of correcting mistakes and misspellings, and of 
unifying the spelling of native words, though otherwise adhering as closely as 
possible to the exact wording of the texts quoted. With regard to the references, 
it dioold be borne in mind ^t in dealing with the Semang of Kedah, the Pangan 
(where so stated), the Blandas and Besisi of the Kuala Langat district in Selangor, 
I am writing from my own experiences ; no foot references therefore are given, 

^ A few instances of the tales so 
embroidered by Vaughan-Stevens are 
given as evidence well known to resi- 
dents in the Malay Peninsula : In New 
Guinea a whole tribe he was staying 
with were massacred by a rival tribe, 
Vaughan-Stevens himself escaping to the 
Fly River and floating down it for three 
weeks clinging to a drifUng log, and 
feeding on nw fish that he caught with 
his hands as he drifted by. — He was 
d^yppig in the king's hut in a cannibal 
idand in the South Pacific, and expect- 
ing treacheiy, slept with his feet wide 
apart on the pillow, and his head where 
his feet should have been ; his foresight 
was justified, as at midnight an axe-head 
cxa^ed into the unoccupied part of the 
pillow, and jumping up, he found him- 
sdf presenting his pbtol at the head of 
las royal host. — He was in Bombay, 
and got himself carried, disguised as a 

corpse, into the sacred and inviolable 
enclosure of the Towers of Silence in 
order to have the opportunity of select- 
ing at leisure the skull of a Parsee ; 
being refused permission to return, 
he made the doorkeeper dmnk with a 
bottle of whisky that he had by him. 
And so forth, and so forth. Small 
wonder that his professional reputation 
went by the board, more especially as 
he brought from Ceylon the name of an 
artist in fiction scarcely, if at all, inferior 
to that he earned in the Straits. Yet 
examples of professional men who have 
done good work, although they may have 
suffered from a similar weakness have 
not been uncommon, and if we compare 
one part of Vaughan-Stevens' work with 
another, and the whole with the work 
of other observers, we shall find sufifi- 
dently conclusive proofs of his general 
good faith in the facts that he recorded. 



In all other cases, the reference to the authority quoted is given at the foot of the 
page, though in the case of an obviously continued passage or narrative the refer- 
ence has not of course been put at the foot of every page but at suitable intervals 
only, which will easily explain themselves. The work, however, has grown 
considerably under my hands, and here and there it has been necessary to make 
corrections, or even to add material in a footnote, which should, strictly speaking, 
have been incorporated in the text. For this and for any other shortcomings in 
dealing with the material I can only plead that I have done my best, subject to 
the very great and severe limitations that have conditioned the work fiom start to 
finish. It must not be forgotten that part of the material in this book has come 
from rare old pamphlets and journals written by travellers in nearly all the 
important languages of Europe, some of which contain numerous tjrpographical 
errors and other mistakes due to their ignorance of Malay, which have here 
been corrected. 

It only remains to mention the most eminent and distinguished of all the 
anthropologists that science has yet sent out to study the many vexed questions 
connected with these races. I refer to my friend Rudolf Martin, whose monumental 
and epoch-making work (Die Inlandst'amme der Malayischen Halbinsel), the first 
of its kind, was published at Jena by Gustav Fischer during the past year. 

W. S. 
The following main references to Martin's work corresponding to certain main 
references in this book are given for the benefit of students, it being premised 
that Martin deals with the aborigines chiefly from an anthropological, the 
present authors chiefly from a cultural and linguistic point of view ; moreover, 
Martin's book is arranged according to subject, ours is founded on a 
phylogenetic or tribal bausis : the two works thus stand in a complementary 
relation to each other. 


Vol. L 

Part I. Race z9-xo6 

Part IL- 

Ch. L Food .... xo9*i36 

Ch. ti. Dress .... x37-x67 

Ch. iii. Habitations . . . z68*x99 

Ch. iv. Hunting, Trapping, Fish* ) 

ing 9oo'^a4 V 

Ch. vi. Weapons and Implements 243-337 j 

Ch. V. Modes of Barter . 925-34Z ) 

Ch. xL Dealings with other Races 591-570/ 

Ch. vil Cultivation . . . 338*373 

Ch. viii. Arts and Crafts . . 374-394 

Ch. ix. Decorative Art . . . 395-493 

Ch X. The Social Order . . 494-530 

Vol. II. 
Part III.- 
Ch. i. Birth • Customs and 
Beliefs .... 
Ch. ii. Maturity Customs and 
Beliefs . 

Ch. iiL Marriage Customs and 
Beliefs .... 

Ch. iv. Burial Customs and 

Ch. V. Music, Songs, and Feasts 

Ch. vi. Religion and Folklore 
Part IV. Langiiage . 







I IV. 






Physiche Anthropologie 

Ergologie — 

Nahrung. . . . 730, 733-744 
K5iperbedeckung . . . 680-695 
Besiedelungs- u. Wohnungs. 

verh&ltnisse .... 659-677 
Nahrungssuche, Jagd u. 

Fischfang, Jagd- u. Fange- 

gerftthe . . . 
Sozioloffie. Geheimer Tausch< 

handel. Verkehrmit Malayen 878-883 
Anpflanxungen der Halbkul- 

turstSmme .... 
HausgerSthe, Haushalt, u.s. w, 
Omamentik . . 
Soziologie. Soaale Ordzmng. 





1 Cp. also Martin, pp. 678-679. 

8. Sitten u. Gebriluche. Schwan- 

gerschaft,^ Geburt, u.s.w. . 890-903 

a. Ohr- und Nasenschmuck, 
U.S.W., Tatauierung, Bema- 
lung 696-706 

7. Ehe. Hochccitsgebrftuche, 

U.S.W. 863-873 

8. Tod. Grabbeigaben. Seelen- 

haus, U.S.W. .... 936-93X 

8. Spiele. MiLsikinstnunente. 

Gesang, u.s.w. . . . 904-931 

9. Religiose Vortstellungen ' 932-986 
xo. Sprache 987-999 


Abbreviations used in Parts I. -III. inclusive of this Work. 

AuslancL — Das Ausland, Munich, etc. 
y. E, A,~-Joumal of Eastern Asia (one number only issued). 
Ethn, NoHzbl—Ethnologisches NoHzbUxtt, 
y. A, I.— 'Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and 

J, /. A.^-Joumal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia (otherwise 

known as *' Logan's Journal "}. 
J, R, A, S,— Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 

J. R,A. S., S. B,^Joumal of the Royal Asiatic Society^ Straits Branch, 
Man's And} — Man, E. H. On the Aboriginal Inhabitants of the Anda- 

meuuse Islands, 
Sel, Joum, or S.J, — Selangor Journal (formerly published at the Government 

Press, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor). 
V. B. G. A. — Verhandlungen der Berliner Gesellschaft fur Anthropologie. 
Z.f, E.—ZeitschriftfUr Ethnologie. 
Vaughan'Stevens^ ii. ; Vaughan-Stevens^ m. — Veroffentlichungen aus dem K. 

Museum fUr Volkerkunde: Bd. iL (3-4 Heft) ; Bd. iii. (3-4 Heft). 

Note. — The abbreviations of names of authors or works occurring in the text 

are given in the Bibliography itself. Where there are several works by the same 

author, the abbreviation indicates which work is referred to. Thus " Hale, p. 

^K>," refers solely to that author's paper "On the Sakais" in vol. xv. of the 

Journal of the Anthropolc^cal Institute, after which entry in the bibliography 

the abbreviation [** Hale "J is shown. 

AH articles on or by editors of Vaughan-Stevens' material are given under 

the heading " Stevens, Vaughan-," not under the name of each individual editor. 
This list includes a number of works of a general nature which contain 

incidental references to or descriptions of the races here dealt with. 

1904. Abbot, Dr. Human Images among the Mantong [Orang Laut]. 
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Straits Branch [No. 41], pp. 
128, 129. 

1846. Abdullah. Hikayat Abdullah bin Abdulkadir Munshi. Singapore. 

1S24. Anderson, John [*< Anderson "]. Political and Commercial Con- 
siderations relative to the Malayan Peninsula and British Settlements 
in the Straits of Malacca. With Appendix : of the Aboriginal Inhabi- 
tants of the Malayan Peninsula, and particularly of the Negroes, called 
Semang. Prince of Wales' Island. Pp. xxvii-xlvii. 

1902. Annandalb, Nelson, and Robinson, H. C. Some Preliminary 

Results of an Expedition to the Malay Peninsula. Journal of the 
Anthropological Institute of Great Britsdn and Ireland. London. 
Vol. xxxiL p. 407. 

1903. Annandalb, Nelson, and Robinson, H. C. Fasciculi Malayenses 

[" Fasc Mai.*']. Anthropology. Pt i. London : Longmans, Green, 

and Co. 
1903. Annandalb, Nelson. Fasciculi Malayenses. Supplement, Map, and 

Itinerary. London : Longmans, Green, and Co. ["Fasc. MaL"]. 
1S78. Anonymous. The Semangs. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 

Straits Branch, No. 2, p. 231. [Miscellaneous notices.] 
1 88 1. Anonymous. The Ipoh Tree — Perak. Journal of the Royal Asiatic 

Society, Straits Branch, No. 8, p. 161. [Miscellaneous notes.] 
1850. Barbb, Rev. ["Barbe"]. Agriculture of the Mintra [i,e. Mantra]. 

1 To distinguish it from the publica- Anthrop. Inst, of Great Britain and 
tioD called " Man " issued by the Ireland, which latter is printed Man. 


Bengal Catholic Herald, June 12, 1850. Reprinted in Journal of the 

Indian Archipelago, vol. v. p. 487. 
1896. Bartels, M. Se$ Stevens, Hrolf Vaughan-. 
1886. Bastian, Adolf. Indonesien, oder Die Inseln des Malayischen 

Archipelago's. Berlin. III. Lieferung, Sumatra und Nachbarschaft 

S. 104 seqq* 
1886. Bastian, Adolf. Reisen in Birma. Leipzig. P. 432. 
1834. Begbib, p. J. [«*Begbie"]. The Malayan Peninsula, embracing its 

History, Manners, and Customs of the Inhabitants, pp. 2-18. Madras. 

1886. Bellamy, G. C. ["Bellamy, G."] The Sakais of Selangor, Kuala 

LAngat. Selangor Journal, 1895, vol. iii. No. 14, p. 224 seqq. Re- 
printed from Government Report (1886). 

1849. BiGANDET, p. [** Bigandet "]. N. Ann. de la Propagation de la Foi, 
1849, tome i. pp. 8o-88. 

1883. Bird, Isabella (Mrs. Bishop). The Golden Chersonese, pp. 13-17. 

1893. Blagden, Charles Otto [**Blagden," or **C. O. B."]. MS. Notes on 

Aborigines in the Jasin District of Malacca. 

1894. Blagden, Charles Otto. Early Indo-Chinese Influence in the Malay 

Peninsula. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Straits Branch, 
No. 27, p. 21 seqq, 

1902. Blagden, Charles Otto. A Malayan Element in some of the 

Languages of Southern Indo- China. Journal of the Royal Asiatic 
Society, Straits Branch [No. 38], p. i seqq. 

1903. Blagden, Charles Otto. The Comparative Philology of the Sakai 

and Semang Dialects of the Malay Peninsula. Journal of the Royal 
Asiatic Society, Straits Branch, No. 39, p. 47 seqq. 
1 86 1. BORIE, H. [**Borie (tr. Bourien)'*]. Notice sur les Mantras, tribu 
sauvage de la Peninsule Malaise. Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal- 
Land- en Volkenkunde. Deel x. p. 413. Translated by Bourien, P. 
On the Wild Tribes of the Interior of the Malay Peninsula. Transac- 
tions of the Ethnological Society of London, N.S. vol. iii. p. 72 seqq, 

1887. Boris, H. An Account of the Mantras, a Savage Tribe in the Malay 

Peninsula. Miscellaneous Essa3rs relating to Indo-China. London. 
Second series, vol. i. pp. 286-307. 

1886. BORIE, H. La Presqutle de Malacca, les Malais et les Sauvages. Tulle. 
1878. BORT, Balthasar. Corte beschrijvinch der wilde Menschen, hun 

omtrent Malacca, Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-, Land- en Volken- 
kunde, 1878. Also Batav. Genootsch. K. en W. Batavia, 1883, xxviii. 

1865. Bourien. See Borie. 

1876. Bradley, Capt. J. Travel and Sport in Burmah, Siam, and Malay 
{siCf i.e. Malaya). 

1882. Brau de St. -Pol Lias. Sur la Riviere Pluss, int^rieur de la presqu'ile 

Malaise. Nouvelle Revue. Juni, 1882. 

1883. Brau de St. -Pol Lias ["Brau de St. -P. Lias"]. Perak et les Orangs- 

Sakeys. Paris. 
1865. Cameron, J. ["Cameron"]. Our Tropical Possessions in Malayan 
India. London : Smith, Elder, and Co. 

1887. Campbell, J. A. G. ["Campbell, J. A. G."]. The Sakais of Selangor, 

Ulu Langat. Selangor Journal, vol. iii. 1895, ^^* ^S* P* ^4^ seqq^ 
Reprinted from Government Report (1887). 
1876. Castelnau, Fr. de. M^oire sur les Mantras. Revue de Philologie 
et d*Ethnographie, vol. ii. pp. 132-143. 

1904. Cerruti, G. B. The Sakais of Batang Padang, Perak. Journal of the 

Royal Asiatic Society, Straits Branch [No. 41], pp. 11 3- 117. 
1892. Claine. Tourdu Monde, Jun. 18, 1892, p. 398. 


1891. CuFFO&D, Hugh. Some Notes on the Sakai Dialects of the Malay 
Peninsula. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Straits Branch, 
No. 24, p. 13 seqq, 

1896. Clifford, Hugh. East Coast Etchings. Straits Times Press. 

1S97. Clifford, Hugh. A Journey through the Malay States of Tringganu 
and Kelantan. Journal of the Roj^ Geographical Society. London. 
VoL ix. p. I seqq, 

1897. Clifford, Hugh. In Court and Kampong. Grant Richards. 

1898. Clifford, Hugh. Studies in Brown Humanity. Grant Richards. 
1903. Clifford, Hugh, CM.G. ["Clifford"]. MS. notes and vocabularies 

embodied in this book. 
1820. Crawfurd, John. History of the Indian Archipelago. 3 vols. 

Edinburgh. VoL ii. pp. 125-192. 
1828. Crawfurd, John. Journal of an Ambassady from the Governor-General 

of India to the Courts of Siam and Cochin China. London. 
1834. Crawfurd, John. Miscellaneous Works on the Polynesian and East 

Indian Languages (with vocabulary). 
1848. Crawfurd, John. On the Alphabets of the Indian Archipelago. 

Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia, voL ii. 

p. 765 seqq, 

1848. Crawfurd, John. On the Malajran and Polynesian Languages and 

Races. Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia, vol. ii. 
p. 183 seqq. 

1852. Crawfurd, John. Grammar and Dictionary of the Malay Language. 

2 vols. London. Vol. i. ch. xvi. clxxL-iL 
1856. Crawfurd, John. Descriptive Dictionary of the Indian Islands and 

Adjacent Countries. London. 
1882. Croix, J. Errington de la ["De la Croix"]. 6tude sur les Sakaies 

de Perak. Revue d'Ethnographie, tome i. p. 317 seqq, 
1885. Croix, J. Errington de la. Sept mois au pays de retain, Perak. 

Bulletin de la Soci^t^ de Geographic de Paris, 1885, P< 394 <f^^' 
1882. Daly, D. D. Surveys and Explorations in the Native States of the 

Malayan Peninsula, 1875-82. Proceedings of the Geographical 

Society. London. N.S. voL iv, p. 393 seqq, (1882). 
Dk Morgan. See Morgan, J. de. 
1894. Dennys, N. B. Descriptive Dictionary of British Malaya. London. 
1897. Douglas, W. W. Report to Government relating to Sakei Tribes in 

Selangor, Klang District. Reprinted in Selangor Journal, vol. v. 

1902. Duckworth, W. L. H., M.A. Some Anthropological Results of the 

Skeat Expedition to the Malay Peninsula. Jourxial of the Anthropo- 
logical Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. xxxii. p. 142 seqq. 
See also Skeat. 

1903. Duckworth, W. L. H., M.A. Note on a skull labelled "Soemang- 

schadel, $^ Bukit Sapi, Upper Perak, 1902 " ; now in the Museum of 
the Royal College of Surgeons. Man, No. 18, p. 34 (March). 

1904. Duckworth, W.L.H., M.A. Studies in Anthropology, pp. 242, 256. 

Cambridge University Press. 
1904. Duckworth, W. L. H., M.D., ScD. Morphology and Anthropology, 
W>« 359» 488-490. Cambridge University Press. 

1849. Eajll, S. W. On the Leading Characteristics of the Papuan, Australian, 

and Malayu-Polynesian Nations. Journal of the Indian Archipelago 
and Eastern Asia, vol. iii. pp. 682 ; vol. vi. pp. i, 66 seqq, 

1853. Earl, S. W. Native Races of the Indian Archipelago — Papuans. 

1863. Earl, S. W. On the Shell-Mounds of Province Wellesley, in the Malay 


Peninsula. Transactions of the Ethnological Society. London. 
N.S. vol. ii. p. 119 seqq. 

1882. Eredia, Goudinho db. Malaca, Ulnde M^ridionale et le Cathay. 

(Trans.) Bnixelles. 

1848. Favre, p., A.M. Account of the Wild Tribes inhabiting the Malayan 

Peninsula, Sumatra, and a few neighbouring Islands. Journal of the 
Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia, vol. iL p. 237 seqq. Translation. 
For the original, see Ann. de la P. de la F., vol. xxii. 

1849. Favre, P., A.M. Journey in Johore. Journal of the Indian Archipelago 

and Eastern Asia, vol. iii. p. 50. 
1849. Favre, P., A.M. Pawangs. Journal of the Indian Archipelago and 

Eastern Asia, vol. iii. p. 115. 
1849. Favre, P., A.M. Journey in the Menangkabau States of the Malay 

Peninsula. Journal of the Indian Arcbdpelago and Eastern Asia, 

vol. iii. p. 153. 
1865. Favre, P., A.M. Account of the Wild Tribes inhabiting the Malayan 

Peninsula, Sumatra, and a few neighbouring Islands. With a Journey 

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Orang Belendas, der Orang Djakun und der Orang Laut. Zeitschrift 

fUr Ethnologic, Bd. xxviil S. 163-202. Ed. Bartels. [Z.f.E, 

1896. Stevens, Hrolf Vaughan-. Ausdruck der Gemttthsbewegungen der 

Orang-hutan von Malacca. Verhandlungen der Berliner Gesellschaft 

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1896. Stevens, Hrolf Vaughan-. Notizen aus den Reisen des Hrolf 

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1896. Stevens, Hrolf Vaughan-. Der Cholera-zauber bei den Temia auf 

der Halbinsel Malaka (Jansen, H.). Globus, Bd. Ixix. S. 11 7- 119; 
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1897. Stevens, Hrolf Vaughan-. Anthropologische Bemerkungen iiber die 

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173-206. Ed. Bartels. [Z,f. E. xxix.] 
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Malaka. Zeitschrift ftir Ethnologie. Bd. xxxi. S. 137. Ed. Preuss. 

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1899. Stevens, Hrolf Vaughan-. Die Zauberbilderschriften der N^rito in 

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Temia auf der Halbinsel Malaka. Globus, Bd. Ixxxii. (No. 16), S. 

253. Ed. Stonner. [Globus, Ixxxii.] 
Stonner, H. See Stevens, H. Vaughan-. 
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1904. Swan, R. M. W. Note on Stone Implements from Pahang. Man, 
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188a Swettenham, (Sir) Frank A. From Perak to Slim, and down the 
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1 88a Swettenham, (Sir) Frank A. Comparative Vocabulary of the Dialects 
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1887. Swettenham, (Sir) Frank A. [" Swettenham "]. On the Native Races 
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1894. SwBTTBNHAM, (Sir) FRANK A. Note on the Jacoons. Journal of the 

Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. xxiiL 

p. 89. 
1899. Tbmple, Sir Richard, Bart Journal of the Anthropological Institute 

of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. xxix. p. 10 1. 
1 90 1. Temple, Sir Richard, Bart Census Report on Andaman Islands. 
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Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia, voL i. p. 341*. 
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Pahang and Adjacent Islands. Journal of the Indian Archipelago and 

Eastern Asia, vol. v. pp. 85, 133. 
1873. Thorel. Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine. Paris. Tome ii. 

p. 289 seqq. 
1844. TOMLIN, Jacob. Miss. Journals and Letters written during Eleven Years 

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1 90 1. Turner, Sir W. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 

vol. xl. part i. No. 6. 
ViRCHOW, Professor Rudolf. See Stevens, Hrolf Vaughan-, and 

1865. Waitz, Th. ["WaiU"]. Anthropologie der Naturvolker. Theil v. 

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1869. Wallace, Dr. Alfred Russel ["Wallace"]. The Malay Archipelago, 

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INTRODUCTION (Environment) 

One of the most important of the geographical aspects of the Malay 
Peninsula (which we may take as running from Tavoy to Singapore) 
is its shape, which is that of a long-necked bottle or an Indian club, 
narrow towards the upper extremity, bulging at the centre, and taper- 
ing again at the lower extremity. The neck of the bottle or club at 
its narrowest point in the north (the Isthmus of Kraw) measures but 
thirty-five miles from sea to sea ; at its broadest (the belly of the 
bottle), it is still imder two hundred miles across ; hence, in spite 
of its great length of roughly about a thousand miles from north to 
south, there is no spot, even in the far interior of the Peninsula, 
which is as much as a hundred miles from the sea. The result is 
that the Malay Peninsula, though distinctly forming a part of the 
Asiatic mainknd, takes on the characteristics of an island rather than 
those of the continent to which it incidentally coheres, and in most 
respects should be properly regarded as forming an integral part of 
the Malay Archipelago. Regarded from another aspect, the Malay 
Peninsula is at once a causeway of colossal proportions, and a break- 
water. In the former capacity it connects the land forms of the fauna 
and the flora (and even the geological strata) of the Asiatic main- 
land with forms occurring in the islands of the Malayan Archipelago, 
with several of which, including Rio and Lingga, Banka, Billiton, 
and Sumatra, it is known to have been once geologically connected. 
In the latter, it deflects what might be the normal course of the 
trade of the Far East, some hundreds of miles to the south-eastward, 
towards the equator and the cluster of great tropical islands of 
which the Malay Archipelago consists. The actual course of trade 
therefore follows the coast-line of the Malay Peninsula through the 
Stxaits by way of Penang, Malacca, and Singapore, the first and last 
of which certainly appear to be as convenient spots for vessels pro- 
ceeding by this route as any that could have been chosen. At the 
same time the descriptions of the ancient glories of Malacca, even 
if we allow for considerable exaggeration on the part of the chroniclers, 
leave no doubt as to the reality of its former importance, and but 
for the silting up of its harbour there appears but little reason why 
the former Queen of those seas should now sit brooding over her 
ai^ient fiune. But apart from these three ports, which, after all, 


are to a great extent more of the nature of ports of call than termini, 
and apart, too, from the fast-growing commercial importance of the 
Federated Malay States, by far the greater portion of the Peninsula 
is still much cut off from the world, and knows as little of it as, to 
quote the homely Malay simile, the " frog under a coconut-shell." 
Hence, in spite of the recent great developments both of planting 
and mining, perhaps two-thirds of the entire coimtry is still " un- 
opened," and remains covered with the tropical growth of centuries, 
forced to its utmost development by the hot and humid climate result- 
ing from its insular character and equatorial position. 

With regard to the character of the country itselfi a glance at 
the map will show that the backbone of the Peninsula consists of a 
range, or rather system of ranges, the source of the innumerable 
small rivers and streams which drain and irrigate the country from 
end to end, and the chief of which give their names to the several 
States of Kedah, Perak, and Selangor on the west coast, to Patani, 
Kelantan, and Trengganu on the east, and to Johor at the southern- 
most extremity. The hills, which are steep and savage, being clad 
with jungle to the very sky-line, terminate in not a few places in rugged 
and precipitous peaks, several of the highest of which are upwards 
of 7000 to 8000 feet high. Their formation is chiefly of a granitic 
character, with quartz and quartzose veins, which on decomposition 
yield the extensive stanniferous, and to a minor extent auriferous 
deposits that have been worked with such conspicuous success in 
the alluvial plains. It is chiefly on the foothills, where these are 
unoccupied, that the wild aborigines make their home. They are, 
however, also found in small scattered communities on the hills 
of the main ranges, up to a height of even 3000 feet and more. 
Though caves are fairly common, especially in isolated limestone 
masses in the northern part of the Peninsula, the aborigines do not 
as a rule frequent these, preferring the rock-shelters, which are not 
infrequently the haunt of the Semang. The alluvial land, which 
lies at the foot of the hills and in stretches along the coast, has 
every appearance of having been formerly covered by the sea, and 
indeed in this respect the observations of science are at one with 
aboriginal tradition, which asserts that the sea in former times 
washed right up to the base of the mountains. The alteration of 
the coast-line itself is continuous and extraordinarily rapid. On the 
eastern coast, which is subject to an annual bombardment from the 
rollers of the China Sea, hurled against it by the full sledge-hammer 
force of the north-easterly monsoon, the fierce tides that race up 
and down the coast are continually forming long, narrow bars of 
sand parallel to the coast, each end of which keeps growing till 
it reaches a point at which the coast-line curves to meet it, when a 
narrow mouth perhaps is all that is left. The result is an extra- 
ordinary phenomenon like the Inland Sea of Singora, which has 


been formed exactly in the manner described, and measures about 
sixty miles in length by about twenty in the broadest part ; the upper 
part of it is fresh water and the lower part salt, and in most parts 
it is so shallow as to be difficult of navigation, except for the native 
canoes or boats specially constructed. The Cape of Patani is 
another example of one of these long sandy peninsulas. It measures 
about four miles in length. 

The western coast is protected from the full force of the south- 
western monsoon by the Island of Sumatra, which forms a natural 
breakwater, and gives to the Straits of Malacca the character of a 
vast river or lake. With every tide the Straits fill from the open 
sea, the tides rising to a height of between twenty and thirty feet 
Here and there, at intervals along the western coast, e,g, for many 
miles along the coast of the Malacca District, as well as at the northern 
and southern extremities of the coast-line of Selangor, extend 
magnificent expanses of sandy beach, fringed here and there by 
coconut palms, but more generally by what looks at first sight 
something like a row of larches, in reality the Casuartnay or *' she- 
oak" tree of Australia. Here, more especially on the shore of 
Koala Langat, their favourite haunt, wander from time to time rare 
scattered parties of the Sea-Jakun, the women fishing for the small 
fry in the hot and shallow waters, the men spearing razorshells, 
or digging out mussels with a quick twist of their jungle-knife from 
among the roots of the " api-api " trees, or collecting cockles and 
other bivalves whose tracks and haunts revealed themselves to the 
initiated eye alone in the bright and smoking sands. 

In spite of these and other most welcome breaks in the 
monotony of the mangrove, however, there is less open coast on 
this side of the Peninsula than there is on the eastern, and almost 
anywhere the serried ranks of mangrove trees can be seen, working 
their way out from the river-mouths into the sea, their network of 
prcmg-like roots checking the dispersion of the soil continually 
eroded and carried down by the wash of the tidal rivers, and build- 
ing it up with continual accretions and by sensible gradations into 
higher and firmer banks. One of the chief causes of this alteration 
of the coast-Une, which although it is gaining on the sea in places, 
is in others losing ground with equal rapidity, is undoubtedly the 
vdocity of the tides and the continual alteration in the set of the 
marine currents. For the alteration of the geographical character 
of the interior, however, the chief factor is undoubtedly the climate, 
which has a temperature varying from about 68° to a little above 
90*" in the shade in the pkins, and the torrential rainfall (varying from 
about 90 inches to 130 inches per annum) — a combination which 
natoraUy tends to turn the greater part of the country into a 
forcing-house calculated to promote the most rapid development 
conceivable of every form of vegetation. 


orchids, ferns, fungi, mosses, lichens, and of plants that climb (guttas, 
rattans, peppers, ficuses, to mention a few that are obvious), some 
by utilising their stems (serpent-fashion) for twining round their 
sturdier neighbours, others by use of their leaf-stalks, by modification 
of the leaves themselves, by adventitious roots, tendrils, "suction- 
pads," suckers, curved hooks, and all other imaginable grappling 
devices and developments of which the botanical world is capable. 

Next to this struggle for light, heat, and moisture, which is terrible 
in its almost passionate intensity, comes the need for self-protection, 
and to some extent, perhaps, as a corollary of this, the need for the 
efficient propagation of the species. To the first of these two causes 
we owe the huge number of prickly, thorny plants, shrubs, and trees 
that seem in places to turn the forest into a vast natural vegetable 
armoury (the rattans, a great number of palms, many creepers, and 
trees with prickly fruits, such as the durian, belong to these) ; the 
plants with bitter or poisonous sap, the glass-like spicules of the 
leaf- cases of the bamboo, and the stings of the giant tree-nettle, 
the terror of man and beast, under the branches of one of which I 
have myself ridden on elephant-back. To the second cause we owe 
such curiosities in the history of dispersion as the " fillcup "-fruit, 
whose " sail " gives it a rotatory motion that enables it to bore into 
the ground at the tree's foot, and the great pincushion-like (albeit 
barbed) heads of the spinifex grass on the east coast of the Peninsula, 
which goes bowling over the sand at the rate of an express train, 
till it catches against a fallen branch or log or similar obstruction, 
where it is most likely to find the depressions that collect the 

In the animal kingdom of the Peninsula this specialising ten- 
dency is not less distinctly marked. For instance, the colour of the 
black leopard (or panther, as it is variously called), which is an 
exclusively nocturnal animal, furnishes it with a most effective 
means of concealment, and when we observe how cunningly its 
sable hue (which might otherwise become conspicuous, as a mass, 
from its very uniformity) is in one species at least mottled and 
diversified by greyish rosettes, which produce, with an almost 
startling fidelity to nature, the effect of moonlight shining through 
leaves, it becomes impossible to withhold our admiration of the 
design. The striped colouring of the tiger and civet, the mottled 
skin of the yellow, spotted panther and tiger-cat, are undoubtedly due 
to the same instinctive selection for stalking, or what may be called 
"strategic" purposes. So too in the colour of the crocodile, which has 
no enemies to fear in its own domain, we have an admirable example 
of " strategic " colouring, for it is the exact counterpart of the tidal 
mudbanks, and especially of the slime-covered logs that lie scattered 
about them, the "deception" being so complete that even the mouse- 
deer, monkeys, and other small game which go down to the water 


either to drink, or to feed on shell-fish, at ebb-tide in the heat of 
the day, are completely deceived, and not infrequently pay the 
penalty for their want of care in adventuring too near their lurking 
enemy, by being swept into the water after the manner described 
in the Besisi jungle songs, by one swoop of the crocodile's lashing 

On the other hand, the grey -blue "slaty" colour of the 
elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, adult tapir, and wild boar, which (with 
the possible exception of the elephant, though it too may at least be 
described as being to a large extent a water-animal) very closely 
matches the colour of the forest-mud in which they disport them- 
selves during the heat of the tropical noonday, is clearly intended to 
afford them whatever protection may be possible when they are 
immersed in their wallow, and for the time being, therefore, entirely 
defenceless, and is therefore protective. Similarly the piebald colour- 
ing of what is called the striped squirrel, and (as Ridley has pointed 
out) the striped and spotted skin of the young tapir, roe-deer, and wild 
boar, with the prevalence of russets and chestnut browns, browns 
and greys, among many species of deer, squirrels, smaller monkeys, 
and wild dogs, are in various ways admirably adapted for the protec- 
tion of the species, the browner shades in particular being very 
difficult to see in the dusk of the evening, which is the time when 
the majority of these animals seek their food. A still more interest- 
ing case is that of the white fauna of the immense limestone caves 
of the Peninsula, of which the Batu caves in Selangor, and the 
Biserat caves of Ulu Patani, are well-known examples. These caves 
are firequented by myriads of bats, which produce deep deposits of 
guano, and among the fauna which live either upon the bats or the 
guano, are a white snake, a white rat, and even a white cockroach ! 
Among the apes and monkeys (especially the larger ones) which, 
owing to their extreme agility and strength are in little need of any 
specially protective colouring, the correspondence of colour to 
environment is less marked; it may, however, be worth pointing 
out that the spectacled monkey (Semnopithecus obscurus) is called 
"lotong" by the Malays, who have evidently observed the close 
correspondence of its colour to the bark of the immense forest-tree 
called "j^otong" {Dyera Maingayi^ D, costulata\ which abounds 
in the forest where it lives. 

In the cases we have mentioned the protective or " strategic '* 
colouring of the animal, when once modified, has been permanent ; 
but the Peninsula yields more than one example of an animal which 
can change its colouring from time to time for the purpose of 
stfll more effective concealment. Such are the " sumpah-sumpah " 
{Calotes\ which, though not a true chamaeleon, has yet received 
that name from its sharing the chamseleon's most remarkable 
characteristic, and in a lesser degree, certain tree-lizards and tree- 


other members of the brute creation, above the orang-outang, for 
example, a comparison worth making because, according to native 
tradition, a variety of it, called the " mawas," once inhabited the Pen- 
insula, as it still inhabits the neighbouring islands of Borneo and 
Sumatra, to the latter of which at least the Malay Peninsula was once 
(as already pointed out) geologically united. That it is not due to any 
incapacity for such development, is clear from the immense number 
and variety of ways, as in the blind, deaf and dumb (or in special 
trades for instance), in which one or other of his senses becomes quite 
abnormally developed through constant use, to say nothing of isolated 
phenomena, such as the cases of web-foot connected with East Anglia 
since the days of the Gyrvii. That it is not due to his late arrival 
will appear when we reflect that the most wonderful development 
does continually occur in the life-history even of a single individual. 
Probably we should be quite safe in saying that of all animals man 
is best able to accommodate himself to new or strange surroundings, 
even to those which appear most certain to threaten his very 
existence. But since he is able to obtain this end by the use of 
special implements and devices, we shall find that (as might almost 
be expected) it is these mechanical appliances that he improves 
rather than his own members. Hence even in the Malay Peninsula, 
which must certainly be one of the most densely wooded countries 
in the world, although the Sakai has been driven by the dangers 
that threaten him to build his huts in trees, he shows no tendency 
to develop into a really arboreal type ; and although he is quite 
capable of walking up the stem which forms the approach to his 
aerial abode, he still prefers to make use of some rude kind of ladder 
to go up and down by (just as, in Les Landes, the French fenlander 
has kept to his stilts). So too the Orang Laut, although he has 
lived in his boats from the cradle to the grave, as far back as history 
will carry us, has never developed, however expert in diving he 
may be, anything remotely approaching amphibious characteristics. It 
is therefore not so much in the sphere of physical development, great 
as in certain ways this undoubtedly is, that we must expect to find 
the full effect of the wild man's geographical surroundings, but in 
the use that he makes of those surroundings, and the development of 
his character. 

In what relationship, then, does the wild man of the Peninsula 
stand to, and what use does he make of the flora and fauna that 
have been described? It is certainly owing to the dangerous 
proximity of wild beasts, such as elephants and tigers, that he has 
taken to living in the high tree-huts just referred to. For the wild 
elephant of the Peninsula in particular is very rascally, and will 
pull even a tree-hut to pieces if he can reach it (as, in one case 
that I remember, an elephant in the Langat river demolished, 
for sheer mischiefs sake, a Malay dug-out canoe). But nevertheless 


both tiger and elephant are hunted, killed, and eaten at times, and 
there is hardly any animal, bird, or reptile in the jungle (except 
perhaps the toad, scorpion, and a few snakes and insects) that does 
not at some time or other, and in some district or other, form part 
of the aboriginal menu. Monkeys, wild pig, deer of all kinds, 
squirrels, porcupines, flying-foxes and fl3ring lemurs, argus pheasants 
and peacocks, blue herons and hornbills, tortoises, lizards, rats, and 
snakes, these provide some of their favourite dishes, and if one or 
two concessions are made to the prejudices of civilisation, there 
would perhaps not be much to which we should be inclined to take 
exception. But the catholicity of their tastes necessitates at once a 
most thorough and accurate knowledge of the habits of the varied 
denizens of the jungle, and a considerable amount of ingenuity and 
mechanical skill in the contrivance of traps, pitMs, springes, and 
nooses for securing their quarry, and this knowledge, skill, and 
ingenuity the wild races certainly possess in a very marked degree. 

The Besisi method of securing the argus pheasant, described in 
the text, is the outcome of close observation, as is their method of 
"splashing" with the tip of their rod in the water to catch the 
" s^mbilang " fish ; their springes and traps for monkeys, wild pigs, 
and other small mammals and birds, are frequently most complicated 
devices. But, cleverly designed as these are, they will catch 
nothing unless the trappers have a sufficiently intimate knowledge of 
the haunts and habits of their intended victim to foresee the exact 
spot at which the latter will inevitably pass, and in passing release 
the catch that starts the mechanism : their knowledge of the presence 
and movements of game, even at a considerable distance away in 
the jungle, amounts to an instinct: their lungs (though this is a 
matter that has not yet been investigated) must be enormously 
developed and improved to enable them, at (comparatively) great 
distances, to exhibit such skill with the blowpipe, as they are known 
to possess: their sight, whether longer or not than that of the 
average European, is unquestionably so much better trained, that 
they can instantaneously distinguish quite small birds or squirrels 
even when partially screened by thick foliage, where a European 
would, for some time at all events, be totally unable to perceive 
an3rthing at all : their sense of smell, by which they are able even to 
track snakes, is unquestionably keener, and certainly far better 
trained, than that of an European, or even than that of an ordinary 
town-bred (and therefore as a rule in every way degenerate) Malay, 
though it may not be materially better than that of the Malay who 
has been bred to the jungle. 

With r^;ard to the vegetation of the Peninsula, it may be safely 
said that the wild races make use of everything that can in any way 
be regarded as even remotely edible and capable of sustaining life, for 
they not only employ every edible fruit, seed, root, tuber, stem, bark, 


leaf, young shoot, bud (not to mention feras and fungi) that comes 
their way, but even make use of plants that are highly poisonous, 
until they have been treated, such as the fruit of the " pirah "-tree, 
which is poisonous unless cooked, and some of the wild yams, which 
they eat after washing out the poison. Of the number of edible fruits 
in the jungle, the lists of their names given in the text will give 
some faint idea, though even these lists must not be taken as in any 
sense complete, and if they should (to take a very rare contingency) 
be in any manner of doubt as to the edibility of any particular fruit, 
the birds and the monkeys will be their guide. Even the despised 
mangrove swamp, regarded by Europeans as the ne plus ultra of 
all impenetrable and unproductive forms of vegetation, contributes 
its quota of edible fruits, such, for instance, as the " pisang-pisang '' 
and " b^rSmbang," of both of which I myself have eaten. Water 
is obtained by tapping the " kait-kait " and other wild creepers, and 
from the stems of certain large bamboos, which not infrequently hold 
water in their hollow intemodes. But the most important plants 
and trees, from an ethnological point of view, are undoubtedly (after 
mere food-producers), the upas tree, the upas creeper, the tuba or 
fish-poison creeper, and a species of bamboo called Bambusa Wrayi, 
Of these it will be sufficient to remark (since they have been treated 
very fully in the text) that the first three are the main ingredients of 
the famous dart-poison of the aborigines, which, like the wouraU 
poison of the South American Indians, is in some of its compounds, 
at all events, almost immediately fatal, whether to man, bird, or 
beast The fish-poison (so called because it was formerly much 
used for poisoning the small streams in the Peninsula and thereby 
stupefying the fish) is used in combination with both of the other 
two main ingredients of the dart-poison, whether tree or creeper. 
And the last of the category, Bambusa Wrayi or longinodisy is an 
extremely rare bamboo, which has exceedingly slender intemodes 
that grow to quite six feet in length, and which, though only known 
to grow on two or three mountains in the Peninsula, has been never- 
theless singled out by the aborigines to serve in the production of 
their jointless blowpipe. 

"^ In the foregoing pages we have glanced at that inexhaustible 
(and after all indescribable) profusion of nature by which the 
ancestors of these races found themselves surrounded in that dim 
and unrecorded past, when first their toilsome wanderings, prolonged 
through generations, brought them face to face within the narrow 
confines of the Malay Peninsula. At whatever period this was, and 
in whatever order they may have arrived, we can now recognise with 
sufficient clearness the Semang, Sakai, and Jakun as three distinct 
and separate races ; the Negritos or Semang, with their woolly hair 
and round bright eyes, the darkest, the best-developed, and at the 
same time the most markedly nomadic of all the races in the 


Peninsula ; the Sakai, who are the lightest, with their often interest- 
ing features, reminiscent may be of their old Dravidian ancestry, 
though modified by the effect of their somewhat narrow-lidded haU"- 
dosed eyes, hair of a distinctly wavy character, and their generally 
somewhat emaciated appearance; and the Jakun or aboriginal 
Malayans, with their smooth blue-black hair, a race hard to dis- 
tinguish, because of its admixture with the other two main stocks, but 
who must nevertheless be accepted as a type, if the physical evidence 
of skull and skull-features, skin-colour and hair-character are not to 
be utterly denied In each case the fate of their scanty bands must 
have been very similar — a never-ending struggle for existence first 
against the forces of nature, against hunger, disease, and a hundred 
forms of death, and later against the persecutions of man, thus faith- 
fully mirroring the battle of the gigantic vegetation and dangerous 
beasts among which they lived. The shadow, the hall-mark of the 
primeval forest — at once their protector, their sustainer, and their 
grave — ^is burned into them, and shows itself in the restless motion 
and hunted expression of their eyes, and even in their very gait, for 
the great height to which they raise the foot in walking (a habit 
acquired in circumventing the continual obstacles that meet them 
in the undergrowth), and the careful deliberation with which they 
plant it on the ground, remain even when they come out into open 
country, and expose them to much ridicule and cheap witticisms on 
the psut of the Malays. It was the forest that supplied them with 
food, shelter, clothing, ornaments, implements of every description, 
with drugs and simples when diey were sick, with materials and 
subjects for their dances, feasts, songs, instruments of music. Their 
Wrongest asseveration was to say, " May a tree fall on me," — ^an 
aq)ression that fully brings out the extent to which this particular 
terror dominated their lives. It was the forest that received their 
dead into its kindly bosom ; indeed, to be laid to rest in the cool 
outstretched arms of the great forest-trees was the highest honour 
that could be paid to their departed chiefs, whose spirits they so 
pathetically prayed to * pay heed only to their dead ancestors, for 
their living friends would find food.' Their simple idea of the 
ddights of a future state was after all but a glorified " Avilion," an 
" Island of Fruits," from which all that was noxious and distressing 
to man (and therefore to man's soul) had been eliminated, and the 
very entrance to which lay over the natural bridge formed by the 
trunk of a fsdlen tree. 

Yet, surrounded as they were by possibilities of harm, they 
quitted themselves like men, and as iron is welded into steel, the 
very hardships of their life only served to throw into relief their 
higgler qualities — their ingenuity, dexterity, open-heartedness, sin- 
cerity, and well-developed common sense — qualities which, I must 
confess, I never yet met so generally difiused in any other tropical 


race of which I have had experience, and had never expected to 
meet outside the fabled frontiers of Arcadia. Yet this is the 
universal testimony of all who have known them well, and I need 
only add to my own a single testimony, that of a Malay (who was 
of all men best qualified to speak), who himself once remarked to 
me in tones of deep disdain, "What stupid animals these Sakai 
are, they don't know how to tell a lie ! " 

It is a fact that, as a natural consequence of their inherent 
honesty, unselfishness, and single-mindedness — the undoubted result 
of their natural and unluxurious mode of life — these despised, per- 
secuted, and (in a worldly sense) ignorant savages, without the 
guiding star of even the most rudimentary form of letters, 
philosophy, or history, have yet given us a practical example of the 
ideal social state in which liberty, equality, and fraternity are not 
mere names but real and living forces, and in which, since a 
moderately communistic system of property prevails, there is no 
room — so simple is their form of life — for the disintegrating 
influences of theft, murder, fraud, greed, or any other of the grosser 
sins that plague the conscience of civilised humanity, influences 
which, whenever the experiment has been tried among Europeans 
of establishing a community on the same lines, have been (and are 
long likely to remain) the inevitable causes of its failure. The 
facts, viewed in this light, are striking, and perhaps mortifying, but 
probably all that they mean is that the stage of development reached 
by those races is a rudimentary one, the exact counterpart of that 
golden age of innocence to which all civilised and semicivilised 
races regretfully look back, and which ceases when once the golden 
apple of commerce is thrown into their midst. " Why rushed the 
discords in but that harmony should be prized ? " Yet surely, if for 
no other reason than for their possession of these high qualities, the 
needs of these rude, uncultured, but not all-unenlightened tribes 
now subject to our sway, should stir the real and ready sympathy of 
all who believe in our manhood, and in our imperial worth as 
champions of the weak. 

The most important factor that remains to be mentioned in the 
development of these races, is the subject of the relations between 
them and the Peninsular Malays. Which of the three races 
was the first to arrive in the Peninsula, is a point that in the 
nature of things cannot be decided. As an equatorial race we may 
perhaps suppose that it was the Negritos. All that we can say for 
certain is, that in the mediaeval period, when all three races were 
already established there, the Peninsula appears to have been 
occupied in some force, first by some old Indo-Chinese race ^ of 

1 It is of interest to note the feet Prince Damrong, a keen and pro- 
that when I was in Bangkok H.R.H. gressive ruler, drew my attention in 


comparatively high civilisation, whose language has left its trace on 
the aboriginal dialects (but of whose domination there is no clear 
record in history), and later by colonies of Malay immigrants from 
Sumatra — a people also of some civilisation (of a Hinduised type) 
whose immigration has continued to the present day, and whose 
influence on the aborigines is naturally much more marked. The 
conversion of these latter settlers from their more tolerant Hindu 
beliefs to the militant and missionary faith of Islam (which took 
place less than 600 years ago), was a most critical event for the 
aborigines, its ultimate effect being to drive these unfortunate tribes- 
men into the hills of the interior and reduce them to the condition 
of hunted outlaws, to be enslaved, plundered, and murdered by the 
Malay chiefs at their tyrannous will and pleasure. 

This condition of things lasted some five centuries, and naturally 
enough branded itself, in unforgetable feshion, deep into the memory 
of the victims. The Portuguese domination of Malacca (which 
commenced with the taking of that cit>' in 151 1 and lasted for 130 
years), and that of the Dutch, who became their successors on 
the capture of Malacca in 1641 and held it till 1795 (^"^ who were 
able besides to establish trading factories in several parts of the 
Peninsula), did nothing to rescue the aborigines from their state of 
serfdom. It was not indeed until the establishment of the British 
Protectorate, which raised them to an equality with their oppressors, 
and thereby righted an historic wrong, that they regained the right 
and the power to live as men. Indeed, even in the earlier days of 
that protectorate itself, and so long as the power of the Malay pirate 
in these seas remained unbroken, their condition improved but 
slowly, and indeed for many years after they had acquired some 
measure of security for life and property, they were still most out- 
rageously imposed on by the Malay, who traded upon their naive 
simplicity, and at the same time upon their unrivalled knowledge of 
the jungle, to acquire for his own purposes immense quantities of 
gutta, camphor, eagle-wood, rattan, damar, and other valuable jungle 
products, for which he paid the collectors the merest fraction of 
their real value. These methods and many other forms of 
oppression have since been almost completely suppressed by the 
strong arm, but we are now confronted by the yet graver question, 
whether our system of protection is to become more fatal to our 
proUgis than even the Malay slave-raids that we so strenuously put 
down, the effect of which was, after all, though individual members 
might be lost to the community, to keep them a race apart, whereas 

particular to the words of command were neither Siamese nor Malay. The 

addresMd by the mahouts, in the north answer to this suggestive inquiry of 

of the Malay Peninsula, to the elephants Prince Damrong has been given at the 

under their charge, and pointed out end of vol ii., in the chapter devoted 

that some of these words at all events to '* Language." 


to-day (though there is as yet no marked decline in their numbers) 
they are fast tending to become assimilated and absorbed, losing 
their language, their customs, their purity of blood and (worst loss of 
all) their natural truthfulness and honesty. Probably at the present 
stage it is too late to avert wholly the natural trend of events, and 
the only palliative appears to be (in the best interest of the aborigines 
themselves as well as of their former oppressors) to encourage and 
develop the systematic study by our own officials of native thought, 
law, and custom, and to encourage and develop the ideas of the natives 
themselves through the means (some of which I am glad to say have 
already been tried) of their own industries and culture (barbarisms 
and babuisms, of course, excluded). By thus giving them an assured 
status and the stimulus of a new and higher form of self-respect, 
we may at least develop and improve that most important class of 
the race (as distinct from his degenerate fellow-countryman of the 
towns), the genuine Malay peasant, inured to the hard vicissitudes 
of the jungle or the sea. Whatever can be achieved in this 
direction, be it little or much — and the writer is one of those whom 
experience has convinced that much can be done — will be in its 
ultimate result of immeasurably greater benefit to the unsophisticated 
alien races over whom the Malay genius for assimilation is so soon 
destined to prevail, than any system of forest reservation or even the 
most paternal vigilance over their affairs. 





The Names of the Tribes. 

In discussing the afifinities of the various races and 
tribes of wild men in the Malay Peninsula, it is im- 
portant to get a clear idea of the exact meaning of the 
names which the Malays apply to them, and which 
are taken, for the most part, either from the natural 
(geographical) features of the country in which the 
particular race of ''wild men'* in question live, or 
from the stage of civilisation at which they happen 
to have arrived. 

The commonest of these names, with their English 
equivalents, are as follows : — 




Onng Utan . . 

Men of the Forest . . 

Used of all the tribes. 

„ Bnkh . . 

MenoftheHUls. . . 

Of Inland Tribes only. 

,. Paya . . 

Men of the Swamps. 

„ Darat. . 

Men of the Dry Land . 

T#nnd Jakun. 

„ Laot . . 

Men of the Sea . . . 

Jakun of the coast, especially 
the Ksisi of the Selangor 
coast, and the Johor and 
Singapore tribes, sometimes 
called " Sea-gypsies." 

„ Dalam . 

Men of the Interior. 

„ Dla . . 

Men of the Head-waters. 

„ Tanjong . 

Men of the Capes . . 

I.e, Men of the " river-bends." 

„ Liar . . 

"Wild "Men . . . 

Of wholly nomadic tribes who 
are rarely met with. 




Malay Name. 



Orangjinak . . 
., B'la . . 

„ Sahbat . 
„ Rayat. . 

LU, "Tame "Men . . 

"Kept" or "Domesti- 
cated " Men 


Subjects or Serfe . . . 

Of all tribes either settled or 

less absolutely nomadic. 
Used especially of slaves and 

dependants ( = "Bila" of 

some old writers, e.g. 

From Arabic "§a^labat" = 

" Friend." 
From Arabic * * Ra'iyat. " Used 

especially of the sea tribes 

(Rayat Laut). 

Of the foregoing names, the term ** Orang Utan" (or 
" Hutan ") is perhaps the one which is most generally 
used in the Peninsula, The correct meaning of 
" orang " in Malay is " man " {homo\ and " utan " 
means "jungle." Hence ** Orang Utan " simply means 
" Man of the Jungle," i.e. " Wild Man/' and the 
phrase has (in modern Peninsular Malay) no other 
meaning. The application of the name " orang-outang " 
in Europe to a kind of ape was probably due to the 
mistake, or the jest, of some early traveller. It goes 
back to 1 63 1, when it occurs in a passage in Bontius, 
quoted by Yule, s,v. " orang utan." The mistake was 
repeated, as has since been pointed out, in 1652, when 
Tulpius, in giving a representation of the ape (not 
the man) wrote underneath it ** Homo Sylvestris^ 
Orang utang." ^ The term " orang utan," as has just 
been said, has practically come to mean nothing more 
than ** Wild Man " (or ** Men ") in Malay, and hence 
it is even used of the sea tribes, as in the case of the 
Orang Utan S'letar (the ** Jungle-men of the S'letar" 
river), who form a branch of the Orang Laut.^ 

1 V. B, G. A. xxiii. 831 ; and A^iV. the British Museum. We must note 

Tttlpii Observ. Med. Amsterdam, 1652, that Malay "Orang utang" (not "utan") 

p. 284. The original specimen of the = " debtor " ; v» VHomme^ iii. 43. 

Ilonio Sylvestris of Tulpius is now in * It seems, however, that in Sumatra 



On the other hand, the following names are applied 
to definite local groups or hordes of wild men, with, 
in some cases, a vague amount of racial connotation, 
this being especially the case with "Semang" and 


Racial Connotation C^ any). 


I. S£mang 

Negrito tribes of the Malay 

Also called M^nik, Meni', or 

Peninsula generally (also 

Mendi' by themselves ( = 

especially of West Coast 

Martin's "Mendi"). 


Pangan . . 

East Coast Negritos {ue. 

V. -Stevens has "Panggang" 

**East Semang") 

passim, erroneously.^ 

II. Sakai . . 

Dravido-Australian (?) 

Occasionally used by mistake 

tribes of the Malay Pen- 

forSemang. The "Blandas" 

insula generally 

ofV.-St.; "Senoi"of Martin. 

S&ioi . . . 

" Central Sakai " tribes . 

The term used by some pur 
sang Sakai of themselves. 
It is said to mean *< Man " 
in Sakai.2 


Aboriginal Malayan tribes 

Formerly spelt Jacoon (Raffles, 


Jokong), etc 

Hin Jaknn or 

Aboriginal Malayan Land 

Including the B^nua (Logan) 



= B&iar (V.-Stevens). 

Sea Jakun or 

Aboriginal Malayan Sea 

SMetar, Sibimba, Bed. Kallang, 

Orai^ Laut 


Muka Kuning, Akik, etc. 

Blandas . . 

Certain mixed tribes of the 

Wrongly used as synonymous 

Interior of Selangor and 

with Sakai by V. -Stevens. 

S. Ujong 

Called T^ndas by themselves. 

Bfisisi . . .- 

Certain (Malayan?) Sea 

Also called Bdrsisi(V. -Stevens), 

tribes of the Selangor 

and *Sisi (by themselves). 

and Malacca Coast 

Mantra . . 

Certam (Makyan?) tribes 

Also Mtotdra' and Mintira 

of Interior of Malacca 


Udai . . . 

A certain mixed tribe 
(? Semi-Negrito) of Johor 


the expression is actually used to de- 
note the anthropoid apes. In Borneo 
the word '* Malas *' is tised to denote 
the "orang-outang," of which the 
*' Mawas " of the Peninsula is probably 
a tradition. In a letter of November 
3rd, 1901, Mr. Hale informs me 
that the term "Orang alas" (an old 
Malay phrase for "jungle-men ") is used 
in the Kinta valley as the equivalent of 
" Mawas." 

* The word is properly spelt Pangan, 
and has nothing to do with Malay 

"panggang," "to roast, " as V. -St. oddly 
imagined, the two words being pro- 
nounced quite differently. Mr. Charles 
Hose has suggested that it may be akin 
to a North Bornean word " pangan," 
which means "friendly" — a much more 
likely suggestion. 

' De Morgan (viii. 225) mentions a 
hill called " Gunong Senoi " ( " Sonoi "), 
a place-name, but this probably means 
" HUl of the Senoi" or " Wild-men's 
Hill." Cip, IjiQxmg's Vocabulary of the 
''Ulu Kampar'' Dialect, s,v. " Man." 


The term *' Semang*' has never been satisfactorily 
explained. The term " Sakai," on the other hand, has 
been (unjustifiably, as I think) explained as meaning 
"dog"; a more possible derivation, as Grlinwedel 
points out,^ being from the Sanskrit " Sakhi " = 
" Friend," in which case its use would be paralleled by 
the alternative Malay name '* Sahbat" or "Sabat" (from 
Arab. '* §ahabat " = " Friend " or ** Friendly "), though 
even this is hardly a likely explanation. 

The word "Sakai" is also used in Malay (as is 
*' Semang ") in the sense of retainer or follower of a 
native chief. It is thus more or less analogous to Ray at 
or subject. This last term is commonly applied 
by the Malays to the Mantra and Besisi ; but these 
last two tribes prefer to speak of themselves as '* Hill 
Men " (Orang Bukit), or ** Men of the Interior '* 
(Orang Dalam), and " Men of the Sea " (Orang Laut) 
respectively, or else simply as *' Jakun." 

Finally, the term " Sakai " has not unfrequently 
been used, like the expression " Orang Utan," as a 
generic term for all the wild men of the peninsula. 
It is also frequently used by the Malays in combina- 
tion with many of the terms given above {e.g. Sakai 
Liar, Sakai Jinak, Sakai Bukit, Sakai Rawang, Sakai 
Laut, Sakai Ulu, Sakai Dalam, Sakai Bla), but not as 
a rule with the other words mentioned in the list. 
The word ** Semang " is also occasionally used in a 
similar way. But the majority of the names applied 
to these tribes by the Malays are purely place-names, 
e.g. Orang Kinta (from the Kinta valley in Perak) ; 
Orang Klang and Orang Rawang (from places in the 
** Klang " and " Langat " districts of Selangor), and 
the numerous tribal names of the Orang Laut, such 

^ V. B, G. A, xxiiu 830. <* Sakei " is an alternative spelling. 


as the " Sabimba," " S'letar," " Muka Kuning," and 
many similar titles. 

In the following work the name ** Semang" will be 
used principally for all Negrito tribes, whether those 
dwelling on the West Coast or those on the East, the 
latter of whom are generally called (as has already 
been explained) " Pangan." 

It will also be used (culturally) of the mixed 
Semang-Sakai tribes amongst whom, either on account 
of their use of the bow or for other reasons, the 
Semang element has been assumed on the whole to 

The name " Sakai " will be similarly ear-marked 
for the second ethnical group (Dravido- Australian?), 
whether pure or only preponderatingly Sakai. 

The name " Jakun " will, in the same way, be applied 
to the southern tribes, composing the third ethnical 
group, for which the name " B6nua " (Orang Bgnua = 
Men of the Country or ** Aborigines," as opposed to 
the immigrant Malays) was used by European writers 
at least as far back as 161 3, although it does not now 
appear to be used by the natives themselves.^ 

Finally, I may say that the names of the fabulous 
tribes, e.g, Orang Ekor or *' Tailed'* People, Orang 
Gergasi or Giants, Orang Mawas or "Orangoutang" 
People, referred to by Vaughan - Stevens,* Orang 
P6ri or Fairies, etc., etc., will be treated of in the 
chapter on Religion, to which they more properly 

Vaughan- Stevens asserts that the term **Udei" 

1 At the same time it should be Goudinho de Eredia {Afalacay 

obserYed that certain modern writers Brussels, 1882) mentions the Benua 

(among whom is Logan) apply the in a work written in 1 61 3. 

" Benua " to a particular Jakun * Vide GrUnwedel in V, B, G, A, 

tribe in Johor, who will be here called xxxiii. 830, and elsewhere. 


( **Udai*') is used by the Orang Pangan as an ex- 
pression of contempt for the tribes dwelling near 
Belum in Perak, and that its meaning is equivalent to 
*' bastard." He also alleges it to be applied by the 
Malays in the north to the Orang Jinak, ue. the 
more settled (" Tame") Semang. His explanation of 
the word, however, is certainly incorrect.^ 


The Older Views. 

The descriptions of these tribes by the older 
writers were based on very inadequate knowledge, 
and were often extremely speculative and misleading. 
De Quatrefages, De Morgan, M.-Maclay, Vaughan- 
Stevens, and others held what may be called the Pan- 
Negrito theory, i.e. the belief that all the wild tribes 
were of Negrito origin, and attempted to account for the 
anthropological difficulties involved by premising the 
intermixture of these tribes with Malays and certain 
other races, selected apparently at random, such as 
Siamese, Papuans, and African negroes, to account 
for the presence of whom the ** wrecked slave-dhow *' 
theory was introduced, without the slightest regard to 
the obvious geographical objections, or to the remark- 
able racial discrepancies between the races compared. 
We have it, for instance, on the authority of Mr. 
H. N. Ridley, that Vaughan -Stevens at one time 
regarded the Semang as descendants of "escaped 
negro slaves brought over by Alexander the Great " ! 

* Vaughan-Stevcns, iii. Heft. 3.4, p. 100. 


Even some of those sounder authorities who re- 
cognised the fact that the identity of origin of all these 
tribes could not be maintained, spoilt their case by- 
attempting to identify the Semang with the African 
negro, an attempt which the marked diversity of type 
between the two races concerned would alone render 
h'ttle short of absurd. 

An allied theory (that of the Papuan origin of 
the Semang) has been completely confuted by a 
succession of modern anthropologists, among whom 
it will be sufficient to mention Wallace, Waitz, 
Hamy, and others, whose researches may be con- 
sidered to have fairly established the following pro- 
positions : * — 

(i) That there were not less than two clearly dis- 
tinguishable, if not contrasted, racial types among the 
wild aborigines of the Peninsula. 

(2) That the characteristics of the Negrito type 
found among the Semang showed no more trace of 
derivation from the true negro than they did from that 
of the Papuan. 

A. — The Semang Problem. 

As regards the former (Pan-Negrito) theory, it 
should be noticed that even Vaughan-Stevens and his 
followers unconsciously divide the Semang from the 

Thus Vaughan-Stevens, while strongly postulating 

* Wallace, for instance, clearly dis- Malays ' of Wallace) . . . relient For- 

tiogoishes between the Semang as mosa k Malacca." 
Negritos, and the Jakun as *' savage Waitz distinguishes two clearly sepa- 

MsSays." rate types — the Semang whom he de- 

Hamy, after admitting the existence clines even to call Negritos — apparently 

of Negritos in the Peninsula, goes on for fear of implying Negro affinitie 

to say, " Les Indon^ens (the * savage and the Benua or savage Malajrs. 


their common Negrito origin (according to the ** Pan- 
Negrito " theory), divides the tribes into two well- 
marked main groups — (i) The Sakai or **Blandas" 
(including the "Tembeh,'* the ** Keni,*' the "Senoi," 
"Besisi," and **Kenaboi"); (2) the Orang Menik, 
whom he subdivides correctly into Pangan and 
Semang, the latter comprising the tribes of Kinta, 
Kensiu, Belum, and Bong Districts. 

In the first of these two groups the names 
Tembeh, Keni, and Kenaboi are probably nothing 
but place-names ; ^ Tembeh, which Vaughan-Stevens 
spells Tumior or Tummeor, and which he would 
derive from Timor — the name of an island at the 
opposite end of the Malay archipelago ! — is certainly 
identical with the Tembe of Clifford, in spite of 
Vaughan-Stevens* description of them as being " dark 
of colour" and ** tattooed," ^ two facts which would, if 
established, appear to indicate a proportion of Semang 
blood, though no doubt much mixed with Sakai. 

In the second group the names of the subdivisions 
are mostly names of places, Kensiu being in the north 
of Kedah ; the Kinta, a tributary of the Perak river ; 
Belum in Ulu Perak ; and Bukit Bong, a hill in 
Ligeh. All the tribes in this second group belong 
to the Negrito stock, and Vaughan-Stevens, in spite 
of his preconceived theories, could not help noticing 
the difference between them and the Sakai tribes. 

The third (Malayan) element Vaughan-Stevens 

* *' Kenaboi "is the name of a stream beh" at Sepang, south of Klang, 

in Jelebu. '* Tembeh": other spellings upon the same coast. I may add that 

are **T5mbir'* and ««Tembe," the form there is, in N. Selangor and Perak, a 

employed by Clifford. For a parallel strong tendency to pronounce this 

compare the word **gambier," which same word as *'gambiok," or even 

is (correctly) pronounced **gambir" at *'gamiok," a form which accounts 

Klang in the central part of the Se- for the form **Tdmiok," which is also 

langor coast-line, ** gambior '* at Kwala found (Martin). 

Selangor (north of Klang), and *« gam- « V, B. G. A. xxiii. 831. 



apparently attributes exclusively to modern (civilised) 
Malay admixture. 

So, too, De la Croix,^ though professing his ad- 
herence to the ** Pan-Negrito " theory, nevertheless 
distinguishes to a great extent the Semang from the 

De Morgan distinguishes between the " Sakai " 
peoples to the south of the river Plus, a large tributary 
of the Perak river, and the Semang who live to the 
north, and remarks that these two tribes are hostile 
to each other ; but yet concludes that all the wild 
men of the Peninsula belong to a single race which 
he identifies with the ** Negritos of New Guinea " ! 

It is not, I think, necessary to deal at length with 
the statements of all the writers who hold this view, 
though mention should certainly be made of the work 
of Miklucho-Maclay,^ who states that both the " Orang 
Sakai" and ** Orang Semang" (two radically different 
types) are ^^ pur sang Melanesians " ! ' 

' Rev, (TEthn, voL i. No. 4, 1882. 

« /. R. A, S., S. B., No. 2, p. 208. 

' On the other hand, it is only fair 
to point out that both Miklucho-Maclay 
and Meyer (following M.-Maclay) re- 
garded both Negritos and Papuans as 
one stock, and were apparently unable 
to see the difference of type between 
them, in which connection Keane 
writes, •• It will be enough to insist, 
with Wallace and Flower, on the funda- 
mental differences (between the Papuan 
and the Negrito tjrpe) . . . the two have 
in fact little in common except their 
dark colour and frizzly or woolly hair, 
features which they share also with the 
African N^ro " (Keane in /, A, I. ix. 
p. 285). 

The only kind of ultimate connec- 
doo between these races that appears, 
anthropol(^;ically speaking, at sdl pos- 
sible, would hie that outlined in a 
SBggestioo put forward by the late 
Sir William Flower, who thought 

that the Negrito might represent 
the undeveloped type of an aboriginal 
race, of which both Negro and Papuan 
might be the highly specialised deriva- 

For an opposite opinion, see A. B. 
Meyer's Negritos, p. 83. It may, 
however, be still taken as true that no 
satisfactory proof of the connection of 
the two races has yet been formulated, 
and that Sir William Flower's brilliant 
hypothesis still remains an hypothesis. 

It should be noted that the existence 
of the Negritos was definitely known 
early in the nineteenth century (Craw- 
furd, KafHes, Anderson, circa 18 10- 
1825), and at the same time it uas 
distinctly understood that they were 
distinct from the Orang Bcnua of the 
South. These early writers had no 
opportunity of seeing the central (Sakai) 
tribes, because, until the year 1875, 
the Northern States were practically a 
terra incognita. 


Relationship of the Semang to other Races. 

In the Appendix will be found a table which is, 
perhaps, the most compendious way of enabling some 
comparison to be made between the various branches 
of the undoubtedly pure and allied Negrito races now 
known to us, though the number of measurements in 
most cases is far too small to be at all conclusive, and 
the intention is not to prove the connection, but merely 
to show the nature of the unsolved problem. 

The net result is to show that the African pygmies 
(Bambute, etc.) observed by Sir H. Johnston may 
be rather shorter than either the Andamanese or the 
Negritos of the Philippines and of the Malay Penin- 
sula, whereas these last three races are practically of 
the same height. All four are brachy cephalic,^ and 
have actually woolly hair, and their skin-colour varies 
from a dark copper or chocolate to a glossy black. 

A curious point about this group is that it still 
remains a moot question — as our most recent authori- 
ties declare — whether any Negritos occur in Borneo, 
which would naturally be the connecting link between 
the Malay Peninsula and the Philippines. 

B. — The Sakai Problem. 

According to the older writers, all traces of non- 
Negrito blood among the wild tribes of the Peninsula 
were due to admixture between these tribes and 
civilised Malays. The types of those two races 
(Semang and Sakai) are, however, fortunately so 

* The Semang are said to vary brachy- or mesatioephalic, their head- 

from brachy- to dolichocephalism, length increasing in Perak and 

but the writer believes it will elsewhere through admixture with 

ultimately be found that the purer their dolichocephalic Sakai neigh- 

Semang {e,g. in Kedah) are miainly hours. 


N KGR iTo Type — An da m a n kse. 


1 t 

n^ « 




Jt^ ■' 

1 t . / 

*W. /./. 28. 

Negrito Type — Semang of Perak. 

(Sec also Appendix.) 



Aboriginal DravidiaS Type— Veddas ok Ceylon. 


Sl'ggested Aboriginal Dravidian Type — Sakai of Perak. 

(Sec also p. 55, Api>cndix, etc.) 


Vol. I. /. 29. 


Strongly contrasted that their separation is not a 
very difficult matter. The existence of a separate 
Sakai type had long been suspected, and theories 
to this effect had been more than once' promulgated 
(hrst^ 1 believe, by Clifford), but the honour of 
proving the fact by scientijfic demonstration and 
measurements has fallen to Germany in the [>erson 
of Professor Rudolf Martin, of Zurich, who has made 
a careful study of the Senoi tribe, and in his recent 
pamphlet on the relationship of these tribes has pointed 
out the need for isolating the second element in this 
complex racial problem.^ With this fact well estab- 
lished, the Sakai problem has entered upon a new 
phase, the most burning question connected with it at 
present being that of the probable relationship of the 
Sakai to certain races in the^same region who are to 
some extent of a similar habitus. 

Briefly, it may be said that two alternative theories 
now hold the field. One of these theories, which has 
recently been advanced by P. W* Schmidt in his 
brilliant paper in the Bijdragen, seeks to identify the 
Sakai with certain tribes of Mon-Annam origin/^ 
His argument is based partly upon the admitted 
iinguistic affinity between the Sakai dialects and 
those of the Mon-Annam familyj and partly upon 
an old description by Thorel ^^( i) of the Annamese ;^ 
(2) of the Cambojans or Khmers;^ and {3) of 
the wild tribes of the interior of Camboja (Stieng, 
Bahnar. Sedang, etc.). Linguistic evidence, how- 

• Tbc tdeiitific proof of the state- ^ Hijdra^^n^ eic*t tQoi. Np. 52 

nsbde in the pamphlet has ap- (6 Valgr. deel S}, pp, 399-5^3. 

I in rVafes&otMEirUii^s larger work, ^ Vayagt iTExphraiioti ^n Imio- 

* pwblUhed by Guslav Fischer Chine: Garnier> Paris, 1^73, vol. ii. 

ai Jens m I he course of t]ie citf rent year p. ^£9 sfq^. 

M90S)***»ilwMch iseiitklcdi?f> /m/^W- ^ Ln£. p, 290^^5^^. 

itammt dfr tttAlAyiichsn H^UMnsfi, ^ L^c^ I?, 294 /r^^. 


ever, when taken by itself, is notoriously an unsafe 
guide, and though of the three races described by 
Thorel the third group mentioned certainly approach 
the nearest to the Sakai type, the points of divergence 
between the two are nevertheless much too great to 
allow of an unhesitating assent to this identification. 
The tribes-folk (of Thorels third group), for instance, are 
described as being ** above the middle height," whereas 
the Sakai, as proved by the measurements to hand, 
do not in the least correspond to Thorels description. 
The second difference is in their skin-colour, which is 
described by Thorel as darker than that of the Malays, 
whereas the colour of the Sakai, though very variable, 
is in fact, as a rule, except when mixed with Semang 
blood, a good deal lighter.^ 

Again, the eyes of, the Stieng, Bahnar, Sedang, 
etc., are described as being very rarely a trifle oblique, 
whereas the eyes of the Sakai are certainly horizontal. 

None of these difficulties taken separately would, 
perhaps, appear insuperable, but when taken together 
they must be sufficient to cause us at least to suspend 
our judgment, and to regard the Sakai problem as still 
awaiting solution. 

The alternative theory comes to us on the high 
authority of Virchow, who puts it forward, however, 
in a somewhat tentative manner.^ It consists in re- 
garding the Sakai as an outlying branch of a racial 
group formed by the Vedda, Tamil, Korumba, and 
Australian ^ races, to show the nature of the connexion 
between which a table (for which see Appendix) of 

^ It is unfortunate that Schmidt omits ' Assuming the Australian Blacks 

mentioning these first two important to be a non -homogeneous group, it is 

points in quoting Thorel. the type which approaches the Dra- 

^ Virchow in V, B, G, A, xxviii. 1 52 vidian that is, of course, alluded to 

seqg*^ and elsewhere. here. 


X 4 l^ray. 

Aboriginal Malayan or Jakun Type— "Savage Malays" of Pekan, 
IN Paiiang (Heathen). 

Nos. I and 4 are the best types. 

Civilised Malay Type— Chiefs of Negri Sembilan (Mohammedan). 


comparative measurements has been drawn up by the 

Relationship of the Sakai to other Races. 

The possibility of there being some ultimate re- 
lationship (such as has just been referred to) between 
the Veddas, Tamils, Australians, and Sakai was 
foreshadowed by Virchow in 1896/ the main points of 
comparison being the height^ skull -character, skin* 
colour, and hair-characten Of these, to go by the 
comparative table,' the height is variable, but in all 
four of the races compared it is certainly greater than 
that of the Negrito races. The skin-co!our, again, it 
is true, varies to a remarkable degree, but the general 
hair -character appears to be uniformly long, black, 
and wavy, and the skull -index, on the other hand, 
appears to indicate consistently a dolichocephalic or 
long-shaped head. 


C — The Jakun Problem. 

The third of the three great problems which con- 
front us in dealing with the wlJd tribes of the Peninsula 
is that of the relationship between the Malays and the 
B«ciua or mixed tribes in the southern portion of the 
Malay Peninsula, 

By the Pan -Negrito theorists the Jakun were 
re^^ded as tribes of Negrito origin, more or lt:ss 
modified by admixture with the civilised (Moham- 
medan) Malays. Both Crawfurd, however, and, more 
partlcitlarlyp Favre long ago pointed out the reasons 
which oblige us to regard the jakun as aboriginal 
tribeSi and as having been settled in the Peninsula since 

* v. B, Gy A, xmriit. 152 i^qq.^ and elsewhere. 


a period long anterior to the conversion of the Pen- 
insular Malays to Mohammedanism. "In course of 
time the early Arab trading vessels brought over priests 
from Arabia, who made a number of converts to Islam ; 
those of the Benua {ji,e. Jakun) who declined to abjure 
the customs of their forefathers, in consequence of the 
persecutions to which they were exposed, fled to the 
fastnesses of the interior, where they have since con- 
tinued in a savage state."* In other words, part of 
them remained wild, and part adopted the civilisation of 
the immigrant Malays. So, moreover, Logan, follow- 
ing Newbold, goes a step further, and comes to the 
conclusion that the physiognomy of the Jakun of Johor 
(with some exceptions) points to a "Tartar" ex- 
traction — an expression for which I think we are 
justified in reading Mongol or Mongoloid.^ In this 
sense it has certainly been accepted by later writers, 
such as, for example, Waitz and A. R. Wallace, the 
former of whom describes the Benua {i.e. Jakun) 
as "primitive Malays," while the latter explicitly 
describes the Jakun as " savage Malays " ; more- 
over, many writers {e.g. Miklucho-Maclay, in writing of 
the Mantra, etc.) describe their remarkably close re- 
semblance to the Malays, whilst attributing it solely 
to (civilised) Malay admixture. The view taken by 
the present writer is to a great extent in accordance 
with these writers, with the proviso that the isolation 
of the " savage Malay '' element is not the key to the 
whole of the mystery with which we are here con- 
fronted. The Jakun, in fact, as will appear in this 
work, form a composite group, consisting of tribes 
which, though largely Jakun or aboriginal Malayan, 

* Favre in J. I. A. vol. ii. p. 240. 
' Besides this, Logan talks of their *' strong family likeness to the Malays/' 


are also in some cases partly Semang and partly 
Sakai, the crossing between these various elements 
making it impossible at present to adopt any proper 
classification beyond specifying both Land and Sea 
Jakun as for the most part aboriginal heathen Malays.^ 

Relationship of the Jakun to other Races. 
Our statistics unfortunately at present are far too 
incomplete even to admit of such a comparison being 
made between the two types specially concerned, as was 
possible in dealing with the Semang and Sakai. The 
difficulty is, moreover, largely increased by the fact 
that the influence of the civilised Malays has in this 
part of the world been very widely spread, and hence 
it has hitherto been the custom to label as Malay 
many non-Malayan crania. It must not be forgotten 
that the true Malay should always bear some relation- 
ship to the Mongolian or " Tartar'' type, and that it is 
only on measurements obtained from countries where 
the Malay stock is relatively pure {e.g. in the centre 
of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula) that a table 
of statistics of any practical value can be founded. 
Meanwhile the most important evidence of aboriginal 
Malayan influence in the Peninsula consists in the 
aboriginal Malayan dialects still spoken by the 
Jakun, though even in the case of the Jakun the 
matter has been complicated by the uncritical 
practice of attributing their Malayan vocabulary, as 
well as their physical characteristics, to admixture 
with civilised Peninsular Malays. Whereas, as a 
matter of fact, both the dialects and the general 
characteristics of the Jakun may perhaps rather be 

' Cf. Hamy, p. 25 1». , ante. Though no Jakun tribe exists which does not contain 
single Jakun tribe may now consist solely some such individuals, and I believe that 
of aboriginal Malayans, I doubt if any in many cases they amount to over 50 %. 



compared to those of the Malay Archipelago than to 
those of the civilised Peninsular Malay. The table 
in the Appendix, incomplete as it is, will, however, 
perhaps be of some use here as showing the kind of in- 
formation which is required to clear up this part of the 
still unsolved Malayan problem. 

At present all that can be said is that we might 
expect the civilised Malays to be at least as tall as, if 
not taller than, the Jakun, their uncivilised cousins. 
This condition of things does not appear to be borne 
out by the table, but we must wait for fuller information 
before this point can be decided. The skull-index of both 
races is as nearly as possible identical (brachycephalic). 
The haif-character, moreover, is absolutely identical, 
but the skin of the Jakun, doubtless through exposure 
to the weather, is a shade darker, as a rule, than that 
of the Malays. 

General Results. 

The synoptical table to be found in the Appendix 
will, it is hoped, provide certain standards by which to 
test and classify the three main ethnical groups of the 
Peninsula. It need perhaps scarcely be added that 
although many individuals are to be found in the Pen- 
insula who conform pretty closely to one or other of the 
three types indicated, the least degree of intermixture 
(either as between themselves or as between them 
and their civilised neighbours) will tend immediately 
to produce some divergence from these standards. 

Generally speaking, however, and bearing in mind 
these necessary qualifications, the three types may be 
roughly described as follows : — 

A. Sentang Type. — Height of men about 1491 
mm. ; of women, 1408 mm. ; skull -index brachy- 



^ i 

5 /: 



cephalic (or bullet-headed) to mesaticephalic ; skin of a 
dark copper or rather chocolate-brown colour passing 
into a " shiny black " ; ^ hair (which is generally shaved 
off) woolly, like that of the Negro and the Papuan ; 
forehead low and rounded; nose remarkably broad 
and flat or " spreading " ; cheeks full, but with the 
cheek-bones not very prominent; eyes round, wide- 
open, and straight {i.e. not "oblique" like those of 
Mongolian races) ; chin feebly developed i^.e. rounded 
off, and frequently almost unmarked) ; mouth variable, 
but rather large as a rule, the lips, which are also 
variable, being generally well formed, but sometimes 
turned outwards or " everted " ; beard, none to speak 
of, as a rule, but when found, thin and straggling, or, 
occasionally, woolly, like the hair itself. 

B. Sakai Type. — In height the Sakai are, I 
think, without doubt, a slightly taller race than the 
Semang or Negritos. The shape of their head, on 
the other hand, is in marked contrast to that of the 
Negritos, as they belong in type to the dolichocephalic, 
or long-headed, races. Their skin-colour varies more 
remarkably than that of any of these tribes, being in 
some extremely dark brown, in others a remarkably 
light yellowish -brown, much lighter than that of 
the Malays. Their hair, too, is long, black, and wavy 
in character, sometimes with a slight reddish tinge in 
reflected light. Their forehead is flat, and projects 
remarkably over the root of the nose, which latter is, 
as a rule, somewhat fine and small, and often slightly 
tilted at the tip. The cheek-bones are very broad, 
especially when considered in relation to the rest of 
the features. Their eyes are a very dark brown, 
small, horizontal, and often half-closed, as different as 

* See/. /. A. vol. iv. p. 428. 


can be from those of the Semang. Their chin is long 
and somewhat sharp and pointed. Their mouth is of 
small size, with lower lip full, loose, and often con- 
spicuously projecting. Their beard is, as a rule, 
almost non-existent, but a few individuals occur who 
are fairly well covered with hair. 

C. Jakun Type. — In height the Jakun appear to 
be, if anything, a little taller than the Sakai (in which 
case they would be the tallest of the three aboriginal 
races). Their head is brachycephalic, or '* bullet "- 
shaped. Their skin is generally of a dark coppery 
colour, not unlike that of the Malays, but with a 
tendency to darker shades, which are, doubtless, due 
partly to exposure and partly to their manner of living. 
Their hair is long and straight, or " smooth," and of a 
dark bluish-black tint, such as is invariably found in 
the hair of Mongolian races. Their forehead is 
usually well developed. Their nose is, as a rule, thick, 
flattish, and short, with wide-open nostrils, though it 
must be noted here that a more developed type occurs. 
Their cheek-bones are very high and well marked, 
like those of the Mongolian type. The face, as a rule, 
is inclined to be flattish. Their eyes are dark brown, 
of moderate size, and rarely with some slight tendency 
to obliquity. They have, as a rule, a strong chin and 
somewhat square jaws. Their mouth, as a rule, is 
large and broad, though frequently moderate and with 
well-formed lips. Their beard is of the scantiest. 

The establishment of these types may, I think, be 
considered to justify the classification based on hair- 
character which Martin proposes. The Semang he 
describes as Ulotrichi, or woolly-haired tribes, who are 
to be clearly distinguished from the Sakai, who are 
wavy-haired (Cymotrichi). In the third (composite) 



group, for which I propose to retain the generally used 
native name of Jakun, I have merely to suggest the 
recognition (for our present purposes) of the Jakun (or 
aboriginal Malayan) type as Lissotrichi, or smooth- 
haired individuals, in the place of Martin's mixed tribes 
that cannot be classed. With this slight modifica- 
tion, I may say that the present work is based entirely 
on Martin s plan of classification, which in this modi- 
fied form may now be given as follows : — 



Name of Tribe. 

Known in the 

1 I. 



Ulotrichi, or Woolly- 
haired tribes. 

Cjrmotrichi, or Wavy- 
haired tribes. 

Lissotrichi, or Smooth- 
haired tribes. 

Semang, Menik, or 

Senoi or SakaL 

{a) I^nd Jakun 

or O. Bukit. 
(^) Sea Jakun or 

O. Laut. 

Orang LauL 

This list is, as I have just said, merely a classifica- 
tion of racial types or standards, and does not include 
mixed tribes such as the Kenaboi, Blandas, Besisi, 
and Mantra, which will be included culturally under 
the general title of Jakun, the Malayan aborigines, 
who form a sub-group of the Jakun, being divided 
into the Hill or Land Jakun (Orang Bukit) and Sea 
Jakun (Orang Laut) respectively. 


It is extremely difficult to form any idea of what 
the real numbers of the aboriginal population of the 
Peninsula may be. What Favre remarks of the 
Jakun applies equally to all the wild races of the 
Peninsula, whose number, as he says, is very difficult 
to ascertain, because part of them are a nomadic 




people, so that the same family, and in fact the same 
individuals, appear to-day in one place and next week 
some two or three miles further on ; next month they 
will remove again, to roam the forest or to come back 
to their first habitation, so that those who perceive 
them here and there imagine that they are fresh 
persons, and in their calculation they count the 
same individuals two or three times over. Their 
number, as reported to him, was always much more 
considerable than the number he found upon visiting 
the places themselves.^ 

The most recent (1901) census report of the 
Federated Malay States, though containing at least 
one clerical error,* and often doubtless falling far short 
of the truth, is yet our sole guide to the real numbers 
of the aborigines : — 

Aborigines of Pbrak. 

K. Kangsar .... 1021 
Upper Pcrak 515 

Kinta 1681 

Lower Perak .189 

Batang Padang 2808 


Selaina 37 

New Territory .1731 



Aborigines of Negri Sembilan. 
Seremban .... 157 

Coast . 
J€l«bu . 
Kuala Pilah 

Grand Total 



Aborigines of Selangor. 

Kuala Lumpur 


UIu Selangor 


Klang . 


K. Langat 

. 899 

K. Selangor . 


Ulu Langat . 




Aborigines of Pahang. 

Ulu Pahang { ^^"^^^ g^t^^g ^^^ J 

Temerloh .... 159S 

Pekan 2391 

Kuantan . .215 

Total . 



1 See Favre in /. I. A. vol. ii. pp. 
253-255. Against this statement must, 
however, be set the inveterate tendency 
of these tribes to hide themselves in the 

forest upon the approach of a European. 
* In one of the Perak districts immi- 
grants from India are included as 


Allowing 25,000 as a probable minimum for the 
" F.M.S.," the Straits Settlements, Kedah, East 
Coast States, and Johor should swell the total to at 
least 35,000 or 40,000.^ 

Mixture of Races. 

According to Vaughan-Stevens, the Sakai (** Senoi " 
or "Blandas," as he calls them, giving a quite un- 
warranted extension to the term Blandas)* are a 
Negrito tribe with a very large admixture of civilised 
Malay blood, which he supposes to have obscured the 
original characteristics of the tribe. This view (the 
Pan-Negrito theory) is, however, as has already been 
said, quite untenable, since it is obvious that what- 
ever else may happen anthropologically, the fusion of 
two brachycephalic tribes, or even two mesaticephalic 
tribes, could not possibly produce a mixed tribe which 
was mainly dolichocephalic. 

Vaughan-Stevens leaves out of sight, moreover, 
the extremely potent cultural and religious barrier 
which divides the civilised Mohammedan Malays from 
the rude heathen tribes of the jungle. In the case of 
a Malay mating with one of these heathen women, 
the children as a rule follow the religion of the father," 
and become merged in his race, the only important 
exception being the case of Malay traders living with 
Sakai women in the Sakai country, and then deserting 
them and their children, in which case the children 
remain with the tribe. Hence it is the civilised Malay, 
and not the uncivilised aboriginal race, that is most 

^ For fuller details, showing dis- neighbourhood, 
tribntion of the sexes, see Appendix. ^ Among the jungle tribes themselves 

' Blandas or Btiandas. It is probably it seems that the tribal name follows the 

a mere coincidence that Ptolemy speaks male line ; sons-in-law join their father- 

of a river Palandas (apparently the river in-law's settlement. — Vaughan-Stevens, 

Muar) and a town Palanda in the same ii. 90, 94. 


afifected when the two live in close proximity (as 
indeed has been observed in Kedah by Logan, and 
elsewhere). On the other hand, unions between 
Malay women and heathen tribesmen, although they 
are certainly known to occur,^ are nevertheless of the 
rarest description ; and whereas in former days a 
woman who so disgraced her family as to mate with 
one who was regarded as little better than the brutes 
that perish, would have paid the penalty with her life, 
she still has to undergo an extreme form of social 
ostracism, which must inevitably act as a strong 
deterrent. Hence the most appreciable admixture of 
blood is only as between one wild tribe and another. 

This, which I believe to be the normal state of 
things, has one very important exception, for in various 
parts of what is known as the Negri Sembilan, but 
especially in Johol, a number of small groups of 
Sumatran Malays (principally of Menangkabau origin) 
have amalgamated with the local groups of aboriginal 
tribes on what were (nominally at least) honourable 
and equal terms, under which the Batins or chiefs of the 
Jakun even retained, for a time at least, their full share 
of authority in the mixed government thus established.* 

The late Martin Lister, in writing of the Rembau 

* Mr. C. O. Blagden informed me had previously been the mistress of 

of a case at Malacca which was re- more than one white man, she died 

ported to him by the woman's family. suddenly soon after. And such cases 

Mr. Hale supports the view expressed have not been uncommon. The &ct 

in the text by writing, that in his that there is the same objection to an 

many years' experience he has ttez'er alliance between a Malay woman and 

met with a case of the kind {t\e. of a a Chinese or a Tamil, clearly shows 

Malay woman marrying a Sakai man). that this prejudice is bs^sed on religious 

He explains this by saying that the scruples. 

Mohammedan naturally does not like * Thus Mr. Hale writes me that the 

his women, who are virtually his slaves, ** Waris " tribe in Rembau was divided 

to get out of his control, and that into two sections, called ** Beduanda 

when the daughter of a well-known Jawa" and "Beduanda Jakun" respec- 

S. Ujong chief went to live with a tively ; and that the paramount chief of 

Chinaman at Malacca, although she Rembau (called *< Penghulu " or ** Un- 


^ X 

I s 

i3 Pu 

"o .9- 

(3 ^ 

X < 

- « 

"^ 5 

^ 3 


Young Sakai Girl in Ckntrk (Mixeu Type showing strong Negrito Strain). 

C"aught when young in Ulu Lipis, and now in the To' Raja of Jelai's household. The 
other two are Malay children. 

I'ol. I. p. 41. 


Malays,^ gives reasons for this remarkable divergence, 
pointing out that whereas the rest of the Peninsular 
Malays at the time of the Menangkabau immigration 
were, speaking generally, mere piratical freebooters 
bent on conquest and rapine, the Menangkabau people, 
on the other hand, were peaceful agriculturalists who 
had been forced to emigrate through the pressure of 
population in their own country. Hence all that the 
latter desired was land for cultivation, and this they 
were quite satisfied to obtain by peaceful means. And 
hence in the case of these Menangkabau colonies there 
has been a true amalgamation between them and the 
Jakun of Rembau, which has not been the case elsewhere. 

It must not be forgotten, as I have already said, 
that large masses of the soi-disant Malay population 
in many parts, of the Malay States from Kedah to 
Singapore are undoubtedly the descendants of savage 
tribesmen who, by intermarriage with the civilised 
Malays and by the adoption of the higher level of 
culture which in these parts accompanies conversion 
to the Mohammedan religion, have in the course of 
a few generations become barely distinguishable from 
the ordinary Malay inhabitants, of the western and 
southern portions of the Peninsula. 

Traces of such absorption, in which the meta- 
morphosis is not quite complete, are certainly to be 
found, for instance, in the State of Kedah, in which, 
some years back, it was noticed by Logan that the 
Malayan population approximated in their general 
appearance to the wild Negrito tribes of the interior, 

dang ") was chosen from each of these Negri Sembilan, aboriginal descent is 

sections alternately. '* Originally the claimed, in order to prove the owner- 

Batins (r.^. the Jakun chiefs) had a say ship of land." 

in the matter, but now they are squeezed * In J,N,A.S,, S,B., No. 32, 

out of it." And yet "all over the p. 3cx>. 


The descendants of aboriginal slaves would, of course, 
form a large factor in the problem. 

This process of absorption is, moreover, still pro- 
ceeding with quite as much rapidity as in the past, 
and where it appears that the numbers of the abo- 
rigines are dwindling, we may rest convinced that, in 
the majority of cases at all events, their gradual dis- 
appearance is rather due to conversion and absorption 
than to the proximity of civilisation, which in the 
case of these tribes does not appear to have produced 
such deleterious effects as it is said to have done in 
other parts of the world. ^ 

In spite of this important exception, however, the 
amount of admixture of Malay blood, even in the Jakun 
group (to say nothing of the Sakai or Semang groups, 
where the mixture is admittedly less), has been un- 
doubtedly very much exaggerated, especially by 
writers who failed to recognise the "savage Malay" 
element, and regarded every approach to the Malay 
type of features as evidence of civilised Malay ad- 

In conclusion we may say that, except in the 
northern and some of the central states, where the 
circumstances were different, the "civilised Malay*' 
element has not appreciably affected the racial purity 
of the wild tribes of the Peninsula, the main admixture 
(which in many places is obvious enough) having 
been among themselves. Hence the chief forms of 
admixture that are worth considering are as follows : — 

* See p. 30, par. 35, of the recent 18,574 persons. 

(1 90 1) Federated Malay States Census Mr. Hale writes me that the point 

Report, where we are told that the of religion often means nothing but the 

returns show that there is little tend- ceremony of circumcision, and that 

ency on the part of the aborigines to converted slaves of this kind often 

decrease, and that they now number reverted to the jungle (on emancipa- 

(in the Federated Malay States alone) tion). 

JaKUN with marked SAKAI StKAIN, SKLAxNCiOK. 

.. !.p. 4J. 


jAKi'N OF Mixed Typk, Bikit Prual, Sklangok 

Tr/. /. A 43- 


(i) Semang + Sakai, or ** Semang-Sakai," 

(2) Semang + Jakun, or " Semang-Jakun/* 

(3) Sakai + Jakun, or **Sakai-Jakun," 

and further crosses arising from the various mixed 
races thus produced.* 

I. — Race-Characters of Semang. 

The Semang country runs (roughly speaking) from 
Chaiya* and Ulu Patani (Singora and Patalung) to 
Kedah in the north of the Peninsula, and thence to 
mid-Perak and Northern Pahang. 

Wallace* states that the height of the Semang 
varies between 1266 mm. and 1416 mm. This latter 
figure is, however, certainly too low. 

Martin lays stress on the fact that the sexual 
difference in height is actually greater in tribes of 
small stature {i.e. Semang and Senoi) than it is 
amongst taller tribes of the wild races, especially, 
e.g.^ among the Blandas. His rough estimate of the 
average height of a male Semang is about the same 
as that of a Sakai (1500 mm.). De Morgan says the 
Semang are the taller, but the fact is doubtful.* 

The following account of the physical characters 
of the Peninsular Negritos includes measurements^ 
taken by Mr. Laidlaw and myself in the Ulu Lebih 
district of Kelantan, and by myself at Jarum : — 

^ That the foregoing statement of that any stranger who, while staying 

the case is the true one, appears even in a Jakun house, was able to talk the 

fiom the remarks of Vaughan-Stevens huslMind off to sleep, acquired thereby 

himself, when he says that ** Half- an acknowledged right to usurp his 

bloods, with Malay or Chinese fathers, marital privileges for the time being. 

sie quite unknown among the wild ^ W. Smyth's Five Years in Siam, 

tribes, but that such admixture is per- ii. 76. 

9titUd^ aithough not Hied, by those * Quoted by Lane-Fox, J, A, 7. vil 

clans who live in close contact with 437 ; cp.y. R, A, S,, S. B,, No. 7. 

the Malays " {V. B, G. A, xxiii. 833). *• For measurements, see V Homme, 

Mr. Hale, on the other hand, in- ii. 552 ; and Wray, Per, Mus, N, iii. 

forms me that among the Malays in pp. 33-35. 

N. Sembilan it was an accepted belief ^ Given in extenso in Appendix. 


The average height of five adult males that we 
measured was 1491 mm. (about 4 feet 9 inches), that 
of three women 1408 mm., or some 3^^ inches less. 

The face was round, the forehead low, rounded, 
narrow, and projecting, or, as it were, ** swollen." The 
nose was short and flattened, the nostrils much dis- 
tended, and the breadth of the nose was remarkably 
great, five adult males having an average of 10 1.2, and 
three adult females an average of 97.4. The cheek- 
bones were broad, and the lips were sometimes full and 
turned outwards, or "everted," but not as a rule thick. 

The jaws often protruded slightly, but I did not 
see any case of marked prognathism. The ears were 
small. The six front teeth in the upper jaw were 
often filed so as to present a concave surface anteriorly, 
in imitation of the common Malay practice. The 
teeth as a rule were white and good, except in ad- 
vanced age. In one or two cases only they were dis- 
coloured with betel-juice, and in one case caries was 
present. The milk-teeth of a child when examined were 
perfectly normal and regular. The shoulders were com- 
paratively broad. The forearms, with two exceptions, 
appeared not to be so long relatively as they are in 
the Andamanese. The exceptions were two Pangan 
at J arum, whose arms were so long as to present a 
pithekoid character. But the number of persons ob- 
served is too small to separate them from the Pangan 
of Kelantan. The person was usually well developed. 

The head measurements taken by ourselves give 
a mesaticephalic index as an average ; for five men the 
average was 78.9, for three women 81. i. This feature, 
however, is clearly variable, as one of the men (Pan- 
dak) had an index of 73.8, and a Pangan at J arum 
one of 74.4, as against an index of 85 in the skull 


Sakai Girl (showing Negrito Strain). 

Living ai Batu Pahat Johor but originally fro n UIu Lipis Pahang. Carrying a bamboo 
cylinder for water. 

/W. /./. 45. 


collected by Grubauer, which means an index of about 
87 in the living person.^ 

Martin again states that all the Mendi* ( = Semang) 
measured by him were mesaticephalic, with a strong 
tendency to dolichocephaly. 

The following notes on a male skeleton found by 
myself in Kedah, and averages of measurements taken 
from living Semang (Pangan) in Kelantan and Patani, 
may be of interest. I am indebted for them to Dr. 
W. L. H. Duckworth, of Jesus College, Cambridge, 
who has also described a Semang skull recently 
collected by Dr. Grubauer,^ 

The skull viewed in norma verticalis is ellipsoid and mesaticephalic. The 
glabellar prominences are very moderate in amount. Muscular ridges are feebly 
developed, and the zygomatic arch is slender. The nasal profile is comparatively 
flat, but the nasal spine is large. Prognathism of the subnasal and dental type 
is well marked, llie nasal bones are large and rather flat, the aperture pyri- 
formis is cordate in outline. The palate is hypsiloid, the teeth large and 
blackened. The anterior surfaces of the upper incisors and canines have been 
filed. Chin-prominence slight, ascending ramus of mandible short. The skull 
should be described as mesaticephalic, metriocephalic, mesognathous, chamae- 
prosopic, microsemic, platyrhine, mesoprosopic, and mesocephalic, and on the 
whole probably represents an intermediate form between the dolichocephalic and 
brachycephalic tjrpes. 

The vertebral column shows no particular marks of inferiority. The scapulae 
are small and relatively very broad, the coracoid is large, and the upper border 
very straight. The clavicles show signs of disease, but have a very remarkable form 
which can hardly be altogether pathological The peculiarity consists in the 
exaggeration of the normal curve (with concavity directed forward) of the outer 
part of the bone ; the two portions of the bone meet at about a quarter of its 
length from the outer end, at an angle which in the right clavicle is nearly 90**. 

The pelvis afibrds the best indication of the sex of the skeleton. The crests 
of the ilia are not so much incurved anteriorly as in the European pelvis. The 
femurs are rather straight in the shaft, with distinct accessory adductor tubercles. 

Generally speaking, the characters of the skull are not such as to enable us 
to refer it to any well -recognised type without hesitation. Certain marks of 
inferiority, which may be r^^arded not as racial peculiarities, but as constituting 
retentions of conditions normal in infancy, should be noticed. These, which 
often occur in lower or primitive races, and are spoken of, with others, as 
"infimtile'' features, are the rotund contour of norma occipitalis, and the short- 
ness of the ascendhig ramus of the mandible. The conditions of the cranial 
sutnre leave no doubt as to the skull having reached maturity. 

The conformation of the skeleton of the nose, and the type of prognathism, 
constitute resemblances to skulls met with not unirequently amongst the negro 
races, especially the races of Central Africa, rather than amongst Oceanic negroes. 

^ In mesaticephalic subjects the possibility of Sakai admixture should, I think, 
be discounted. ^ See Appendix. 


The lack of characters usually determining sex in the skull is also in favour of this 
view. On the other hand, no definite resemblance in respect of the cranium can 
be traced to the Bush natives of South Africa, whereas the facial features resemble 
certain crania from Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and one from the Andamans. Again, 
the size and proportions of the scapula are not unlike those of the Bushman 
of Africa ; an accessory adductor tubercle appears on the femurs in both, and in 
both the lower ends of the femurs are slender. Differences, however, obtain in 
the sacra, and on the whole the Semang*s bones are the larger. The great length 
of the forearm said to characterise the Andamanese is absent in the Semang.^ 

Sir William Turner describes a skeleton from 
Pahang,^ which differs notably from the above. It is 
microcephalic and brachycephalic. There is, however, 
no precise evidence as to whether this skeleton belonged 
to an undoubted Semang, and as brachycephaly is a 
mark of certain tribes belonging to the third group of 
Martin's classification, it might perhaps equally be re- 
ferred to one of these. Another skeleton described by 
Virchow (quoted by Turner, loc. czL) shows also 
differences in other directions.* 


The hair of the Semang that we observed was in 
most cases characteristically Negrito — crisp, short, 
and very curly, in fact, actually woolly in the purer 
types of the tribe. In colour it was of a brownish- 
black, not a bluish- black like that of Malays (and 
other Mongoloid races). In section it varied from an 
oval or ellipse at the thicker or basal end, to almost a 
circle near the tip. In other words, it possessed a 
Negrito character in respect of section ; * and the 
measurement of the spirals was about 15 mm. The 
chin-hairs were few and straggling, and in only two 

1 For a fuller description of this end of Part 1. and also the Appendix 

skeleton see W. L. H. Duckworth in of this book. 

J, A, /. vol. xxxiL (1902), p. 1^2 seqq, ; * Trans. R, S. Edin, vol. xl. part 

and for his description of a brachy- i. No. 6. 

cephalic Semang skull purchased by ^ See Appendix, 

the Royal College of Surgeons, see Ap- * For a detailed description of this 

pendix ; and for other Semang measure- hair kindly supplied by Dr. W. L. H. 

ments, see note by Dr. Duckworth at Duckworth, see Appendix. 


cases did we see a Semang with even the slightest 
beard,^ which in one of the two cases was closely 
curled and woolly, in the other thin and straggling. 

In another passage Vaughan - Stevens is quoted as saying that the half- 
breed Semangs are the only members of these tribes who could be considered 
as comparatively well provided with hair, and that even in their case the hairiness 
stands in almost direct relation to the mixture of blood. ^ The £. Semang 
(Pangan) when of pure blood has so little beard or whiskers that he is ashamed 
for his little scrubby beard to be seen, and therefore plucks it out. Yet he tries 
to retain the moustache, so that it may ** distinguish him from a woman" {sic). 

Elsewhere we are told that *' The hair of the Semang (Menik) is less inclined 
to torn grey in old age than that of the Malays, grey hair being in fact regarded 
as quite exceptional." ^ 


The skin was of a dark chocolate-brown in the 
Semang that we measured in Kelantan, approximating 
in the case of some of the Kedah Negritos to the 
glossy black mentioned by Anderson.* In the old 
people it was much scarred and sometimes diseased, 
the disease most prevalent being that called " kurap " 
by the Malays, but of a mild type. The colour of No. 3 
of Topinard's scale corresponded very closely with the 
colour of most of the Eastern Semang measured by 
myself. In the younger individuals the skin was 
smooth and clean and the body physically well de- 

> For a fuller account see J, A, I. tendency towards it that the source can- 

xxxiL 151. For hair-sections see not be mistaken, although the hair of 

Montano, PI. xxxL In another place the rest of the family may more nearly 

Vaughan-Stevens remarks as follows : — approach the Sakai (Blandas) type. 

** The peculiar spirally tufted (* pep- The pure types of either kind are very 

per-com *) hair of the £. Semang (Pan- seldom seen there ; but rather they over- 

gan) has kept its influence up to the lap and produce intermediate groups, 

present day in that district in Pahang which show in some cases more and in 

where the half-breed descendants of the others less of a tendency to possess the 

£. Semang (Pangan), Tembeh (Temia), curly hair referred to.'* 

and Sakai (Blandas) were settled as 'In other words, the hairiness is 

prisoners of the Rawa Malays ever due to the presence of the Sakai ele- 

stnce their pure-blooded forefinthers ment. 

were first sold to the Malays of Pahang. ' Z./. E. xxix. 178. 

In a fiunily of this mixed type it often ^ J. Anderson, quoted by Col. James 

happens that one or several of the Low, states that the Semang of Treng- 

children show in this respect either a ganu were not of such a ^* Jet-black and 

complete reversion to the E. Semang glossy appearance " as those of Kedah 

(pangan) type, or at least so decided a {/. /. A. vol. iv. p. 428). 


veloped, but in older individuals it was often much 
scarred, and in two or three cases slightly diseased. 

With regard to the skin-colour of the Negritos, Vaughan-Stevens remarks that 
among the wilder Semang, or " Menik " (the men of which tribe wear nothing 
but a cord or girdle and the women a waist-fringe that lets the light through), 
the colour of the skin b very uniform. The W. Semang (? Semang-Sakai 
tribes), however, offer nearly as great a variety as the Mala3rs. The Semang 
(Menik) did not regard the lighter - coloured Sakai (Blandas) as superiors (!). 
Their god Pie was dark like themselves. Although the Semang is of darker 
colour than the Sakai (Blandas), and appears to be less influenced by heat, he 
(V.-St.) was still of opinion that this capacity for bearing heat arises rather 
from his constitution, than from the darker colour of his skin {vide remarks on 
this subject as affecting the Sakai, infra). 

The pronounced nomadic character of all these tribes makes it impossible to 
arrive at any conclusions as to the effect produced by altitude, soil, shade, dust, 
or clothes upon the texture and colour of the skin. The &mily or tribe lives 
perhaps for a month upon a hill at an elevation of some thousands of feet above 
the sea, next month at the foot of the same hill ; at one time in the thick, dark 
jungle, and at another in the hot, open plains. 

According to the Malays, the Negritos never wash themselves, and therefore 
possess as a rule a powerful odour, and the statement is certainly a true one. 
When, for instance, for the sake of the experiment, he (V.-St) had induced the 
E. Semang (Pangan) to wash themselves with soap, they did not appear to 
retain any particular smell afterwards. But when, immediately afterwards, he ac- 
companied them on a rapid march, and after going some distance from them 
had again returned to their company, the odour was distinctly noticeable.' 

The eyes of the Semang that we examined, which 
were round, wide-open, and horizontal, were uniformly 
of a very rich deep brown in colour ; in one case only, 
that of an old man, they were of a greyish-brown tint. 
The Semang as a race were far from being unpleasant- 
looking people, the most striking peculiarity in their 
appearance being a certain wild look about the region 
of the eyes, probably due, in part, to the great width 
between them, and to the curious depression of the 
upper part of the nose, as well as to a natural rest- 
lessness of the eyes themselves, which these tribes 
possess in common with wild animals. Their eyesight 
appeared to be good of its kind, and in the few cases 
that we tested the colour-vision was normal.^ 

* Z./ E, xxix. 174-176. are given by Wray, Per, Mus, N. 

^ A few sight-statistics of Semang iii. p. 38. 


The eyes of the £. Semang (Pangan), when they are of pure blood, have 
the conjunctiva of a deep yellow colour ; whereas the Sakai (Blandas) do not 

The £. Semang (Pangan) show no traces of short-sight and are "at the 
top of the scale '* in quickness of observation ; this quality, however, standing in 
inverse ratio to the progress made by their tribe in civilisation.*. 


The ears of the Semang that we observed were 
distinctly small, and their hearing appeared ordinarily 
acute. In one case, however, that of a youngish man, 
slight deafness was noticeable. 

The sense of hearing among the £. Semang (Pangan), though not so acute 
as among the Jakun, is nevertheless sharper than among the more civilised 
W. Semang, Sakai (Blandas), or Tembeh (Temia). 

On the other huid, exceptional sharpness of hearing occurred more frequently 
among the W. Semang than among any of the other tribes mentioned.' 

Hands and Feet, 

There is no doubt that these wild nomadic tribes 
frequently meet with accidents. Out of the few men 
that we measured, one suffered from a deformed finger, 
and another had lost the little toe of his left foot. 

It is very difficult to answer the question concerning the usual position of the 
palm of the hand, i.e, whether it is directed forwards, or backwards, or sideways. 
The hands are so constantly occupied in the case of both sexes that they are very 
seldom at rest. So &r, however, as he (V.-St) had been able to observe it, the 
palm was held sideways by the Negritos, i.e, directed towards the 1^ or a little 
towards the front, whereas by the Sakai (Blandas) and Jakun it was directed 

The aborigines were at first much perplexed by being asked whether when 
their fist was closed they could still stretch out one finger of the hand without 
nnclosng the others. Both the Semang and Sakai (Blandas) could, however, 
do this very easily when it was explained to them. 

In measuring the width of the span between the thumb and the little or 
middle finger, he (V.-St.) was struck by their inability to open their fingers 

The most noticeable point about the feet of the 
Semang is the remarkable inward curve of the hallux, 

1 Z,f, E, xxix. 176. » fb. p. 182. 

* lb, p. 181. * lb, pp. 190, 191, 194. 



as shown in the tracings of Pangan feet which we took 
in Ulu Kelantan. 

The following passage from Vaughan-Stevens about 
the walk of the aborigines in general (" Orang Utan ") 
applies perfectly to the Semang : — 

" I have tried to obtain some data on the walk of the Orang Utan, but I 
find that this is scarcely possible, from reasons related to the great variability of 
their environment. In the first place, it is very rare to find a man who is free 
firom cuts, cracks, or thorn-pricks ; for according to their custom they go bare- 
foot in spite of the roughness of the land and of the obstacles and dangers with 
which the thick vegetation threatens them. This influences their walk in one 
respect In the second place, they are appreciably influenced by the character 
of the jungle through which they have been wandering for some weeks previously. 
From habit they adapt their walk to the peculiarities of the way by which they 
have to travel. A path (for instance) where thorns that have fallen firom the trees 
and creeping plants surround him causes the man to walk carefiilly and slowly, 
and at each step to delay a moment before he trusts the whole weight of the 
body to the foot ; and this method of walking is retained some dajrs firom mere 
habit, even when the thorny jungle is left and the path is once more smooth and 

*' Afler observing a man for a whole day, I found that he employed no fewer 
than eight different wajrs of walking, which varied with the nature of the ground 
to be traversed. And the ground to be traversed suffers such constant changes 
throughout the life of the Orang Utan that I really do not know which of these 
ways of walking I should describe as his most usual method. Contrary to the 
European in general, he has few or no level paths to go by, and hence the gait 
which he adopts on such a path would not be his usual way of walking, but 
would be precisely the method which he employs most rarely. 

'* The footsteps of the Negritos, I am prepared to maintain, are almost straight 
in the majority of cases, whereas all those of the Orang Utan (?) turn outwards. 
In all races, however, there is so great a difference in the [usual] angles that it 
is impossible to say which angle is the real standard." ^ 


With regard to strength and endurance in walking, the wild E. Semang 
(Pangan) stand in the firont rank. Then come the Jakun and the civilised (W.) 
Semang ; and, last of all, the various tribes of Sakai (Blandas and Tembeh). 

The Semang are bad runners, but they are as quick as an eel or a snake in 
getting through marshy swamps or forest, their small bodies being very pliant and 
supple. In getting fast through bushes or mangrove jungle they are better than 
the Sakai (Blandas), although the latter have the better sense of direction in 
unknown forest 


The following remarks, from the dialectal forms, 
evidently refer to the Semang : — 

» Z,/, E, xxix. 191, 192. « lb, pp. 193, 194. 


Climbing, which in general is called "Lu-ig" ("Looig"), is designated by 
three different names, according to the method employed : 

1. ** Chid wad*' (** Chid ward "), in which the foot is straight, exactly as in 
the position of the Sakai (Blandas) in the photograph I sent you. 

2. ''Tinbon" ("Tinbom"), in which the feet grasp the tree with the inner 
side of the sole. 

3. " Ti-Nangan '* (" Tee-Nungam "), in which a rope is used (precisely as 
in Ceylon), or in which the stem is embraced by the arms and legs at the same 
time (European £ishion). The grasp of the hands is called *< Ma-Cheb.*' 

A specimen of rope sent to Berlin by Vaughan- 
Stevens was labelled as follows : — 

**Nangan ('Nungam'), the rope used in climbing, for fastening the ankles 
together, whilst the inside of each foot is pressed against the tree. " 

In the same passage Vaughan- Stevens speaks very 
contemptuously of the Semang as climbers — 

'*The Semang are bad climbers; an ordinary school -girl would excel 
the best of them. For climbing a straight, high stem, the Sakai (Blandas) is 
the better. The Semang is nervous when high up in the air, especially if the 
wind blows a little. The winds are for him the messengers of diseases ; he does 
not like to be unprotected in their domain at the top of a high tree.'' ^ 

This description, however, is most unfair to the 
Semang, many of whom, at least, can climb almost 
like monkeys. I myself once saw two of the Kedah 
Semang run several yards up trees by putting the flat 
of their feet against the trunk and their arms round it. 


The Semang are very bad swimmers, but the majority of them know how 
to swim, which is called "Kijuaij" (" Keejooije"), and in water which only 
reaches up to the breast they splash merrily about. They swim exactly in the 
same way as the Northern Malays, swimming on the breast and paddling with 
the hands like dogs, and drawing the legs vertically upwards from the knees, 
and then straightening them vigorously, thus making a great splashing. Of deep 
or rushing turbid water they have superstitious fears ; they are afraid, as a child 
is afraid of the dark, as they ''do not know what their god Kari (* Kee,' sic) 
may send to draw them down into the depths." 


In throwing the [** tame "] Semang is as clumsy as a European woman. The 
action is the same, ue. with the shoulder instead of with the wrist and elbow. 

1 Z./. E, xxix. 199. « lb, p. 198. * lb, p. 200. 


Sensitiveness to Pain, 
The Sem&ng appear to be less sensitive to pain than the Sakai (Blandas).^ 


The open mouth is sometimes covered by the hand, or the latter is carried up 
to some port of the head. 

When a man is indignant or defiant he frowns. He does not, however, at 
the same time clench his fists. 

In *' simple " people the comers of the mouth are very slightly depressed, and 
the adjacent extremities of the eyebrows raised, by the muscle that the French 
call the "grief muscle." 

In the more intelligent the eyes sparkle, the skin round and under them being 
wrinkled, and the mouth slightly drawn back at the comers. 

When one man sneers or jeers at another it rarely happens that the comers 
of the upper lip over the canine or eye teeth are raised on the side facing the 
man whom he addresses. 

A dogged or obstinate expression can be very easily recognised among the 

It is uncertain whether any gesture of contempt exists. 

Disgust is expressed by a sudden expiration of the breath, something like 
incipient vomiting. 

In the case of extreme fear the Semang children remain quite quiet. The 
met sit down quietly and frequently utter a sharp hissing noise. Both men and 
women open their mouths and eyes. 

To show that he cannot prevent something being done, or cannot himself do 
something, he slightly raises his eyebrows, and keeps his mouth somewhat open. 

The children pout markedly when they are sulky, and run away quietly. 

To express affirmation the head is thrast forwards, whereas to express negation 
the eyes are cast down.' 

Physical Endurance, 

Vaughan-Stevens remarks that he did not observe any difference between these 
races in the power of enduring heat, e,g, when they had been exposed through 
the whole day to the sun on a journey, except as regards their general [sicy 
? individual] power of enduring fatigue. Elsewhere he remarks that in the sensi- 
tiveness of the head to the sun's heat very little difference (between the three 
races) at first probably existed. [This point, however, is a difficult one to establish, 
since] the Semang (Menik) wear nothing as a rule but a head-band, and hence 
scarcely feel any special increase of the sun*s heat. 

There is never any appreciable degree of cold in the plains of the Peninsula, 
and even such falls of temperature as occur are never of long duration. The 
cold wet winds of the mountains are, however, felt more by the E. Semang 
(Pangan) and Tembeh (Temia)* than the Sakai. The wild E. Semang (Pangan), 
however, can bear such low temperatures as occasionally occur without the least 
sign of discomfort, when the more civilised tribes are reduced to cowering over a 
fire with chattering teeth. 

* Z,f.E, xxix. 203. omitted. Even the answers given by 

• Answers to questions drawn up by Vaughan-Stevens with regard to the 
Darwin, collected by V.-St., and pub- Semang are sometimes inconsistent, 
lished in F. B. G, A, xxviiL 270-272. * Vaughan - Stevens ascribes this 
The answers referring to the Sakai greater sensitiveness of the Tembeh to 
and Jakun are valueless, the two races the feet of their constitution having 
being confused by V. -St. , and are hence been enfeebled by disease ! 


The Negritos themselves acknowledge that the Semang (Menik) child 
generally sufiers more when in want of food than the Sakai (Blandas) and Jakun 

Summary of Semang Culture.* 

The Semang are the most nomadic of all these 
tribes, the wilder ones never staying, it is alleged, 
more than three days in one place. But few of them 
have taken to agriculture, and they obtain their liveli- 
hood by hunting, fishing, and trapping, by digging up 
wild roots and tubers, and by gathering the various 
jungle fruits as they come into season. 

They are fond of tobacco, but very seldom indulge 
in betel-chewing, of which, in fact, I never saw an 
instance among the Semang of Kedah and Ulu Patani. 
They wear to some extent the loin-cloth of tree-bark 
(the bark selected being in some cases that of the 
upas or poison-tree), but their distinctive costume 
appears to be a mere girdle of leaves, or, as especially 
on festal occasions, a peculiar girdle manufactured from 
the long black shiny strings (really the rhizomorph) 
of a toad-stool ! 

The wildest of the Semang do not appear as a 
r(ue to tattoo, or scarify, either the face or the body, 
though in some cases they may have learnt the custom 
(of scarification) from the Sakai. They (the men 
especially) often shave the head, and not unfrequently 
about half a dozen of their front teeth will be seen 
to have been filed, though this is not necessarily a 
Semang custom. The women wear in their hair a 
magic comb which is believed to avert disease and 
danger. The Semang do not circumcise. Their dis- 
tinctive weapon is the bow with poisoned arrows, 

* Z,f, E. xxix. 202, 203. 
^ For CoL Temple's comparison of Semang with Andamanese v. Appendix. 



though many of them have now adopted the blowpipe 
of the Sakai and Jakun. 

Their habitations are of the most primitive descrip- 
tion, generally consisting of natural shelters under 
overhanging rocks, or of the simplest form of leaf- 
shelters, erected either on the ground or between the 
branches of trees. The most advanced type of these 
leaf-shelters was a shelter made long enough to accom- 
modate the entire tribe and furnished with their re- 
markable bamboo bed-places. They have no boats, 
but occasionally use rough bamboo rafts for drifting 
down stream. Their musical instruments are all of 
bamboo, and consist of simple kinds of ** stamping " 
instruments (intended for beating time rather than for 
making music), the nose-flute and the Jews -harp. 
They have no drums. 

They barter jungle produce with the Malays, but 
do not work for the latter to so great an extent as the 
Jakun. Their religious ideas are of great interest. 
They have a kind of deities called Kari and Pie, but 
these appear, like some of the **high gods'* of the 
Australian ** Blackfellows," to be rather of the nature 
of mythological personages or otiose gods than real 
divinities, as, although they have many divine attri- 
butes, there is practically no trace of an actual cult. 
The Semang marriage rite is of the slightest, but 
they are strict monogamists, and both sexes are faith- 
ful to the marriage tie. It is said by Malays that they 
formerly devoured their dead, burying the head only ; 
this assertion may rest on some old Semang practice 
of disinterring the corpse, but they now invariably 
bury the deceased entire. They have no great fear 
of the ghosts of the deceased, such as is shown so 
strongly by the Sakai and the Jakun. 

Sakai of S. Pekak. 

Vol. I. p. 55. 


II. — Race-Characters of Sakai. 

The Sakai appear to have their racial focus in 
the mountain ranges of S.E. Perak and N.W. Pa- 
hang. Their district marches on the north (in Perak) 
with that of the Semang, the dividing line being 
stated by some observers to be the Perak river, and 
by others (De Morgan, Hale, and others) to be the 
Plus river already referred to. There can be no 
doubt, however, that there has been a considerable 
admixture ; witness the photographs of some so-called 
" Semang " tribes of Perak and elsewhere, which 
frequently include types that are distinctly Sakai ; 
certainly no really distinct geographical boundary can 
be drawn between the two races, and on the whole it 
would seem that the much-talked-of line of demarca- 
tion between the Semang and Sakai is (as far as race 
and culture go) no line at all, but a belt of mixed tribes 
which run, e.g.^ through mid-Perak and N. Pahang.^ 

On the east coast the Sakai do not appear to 
extend far into either Kelantan or Trengganu, though 
they are found in Pahang, their admixture with Pangans 
commencing somewhere near Clifford's line, e.g.^ in 
the district of Ulu Jelai. Westward of the central 
chain, on the other hand, they appear to extend 
through the interior of Selangor, and thence, in 
the form of a narrowing wedge (and with a rapidly 
increasing admixture of Jakun blood), through the 
inland districts of Negri Sembilan, at least as far south 
as Malacca, and almost certainly as far south as Johor. 

' For further notes on their distribu- fortunately no clear proof that the 

tioa, see, for instance, De la Croix's writer is always able to distinguish 

article in Rev, d*Ethnogr, vol. i. No. between Semang and Sakai. 
4 (18S2), p. 320 ; though there is un- 


As, however, the exact racial limits of the Sakai have 
not yet been defined (if, indeed, they will ever be 
definable), it has been thought best to draw the line 
between the Sakai and the Jakun at the point where 
the influence of the latter commences to be fairly 
certain and appreciable, i.e. at Southern Selangor and 

Passing to the general physical characters of this 
second group, the Senoi' (or Cymotrichi of Martin), 
I am indebted to Professor Martin for much of my 
information concerning them. Owing to the fact that 
their headquarters are in S.E. Perak and N.W. 
Pahang, no member of our exploring party came across 
any individuals. Consequently the following account 
is drawn chiefly from published notes and other 
material kindly supplied by Martin.* 

In height the Sakai does not appreciably differ 
from the Semang. 

The average height of the men is 1504 mm., 85 
per cent of the individuals measured ranging from 
1460 to 1580 mm. Some few individuals were as low 
as 1380 mm. 

The average height of the women is 1437 mm., 53 per 
cent ranging from 1390 to 1450 mm., and 17 per cent 
below 1 390 mm. The smallest individuals, two adult 
married women, possessed a height of 1320 mm. only. 

The head is chiefly dolichocephalic, whereas the 
Semang measured by Martin are described as mesati- 
cephalic, with, however, a strong tendency to the 
dolichocephalic condition. 

^ Senoi = Orang Halas of Newbold. pines' quills therein. 

Cp./. /. A. vol. iv. p. 429, where the * To this should be added the 

O. Alas of Ulu Kantu (? Kinta) are measurements of Wray {Per, A/us, 

described by Col. I-ow as a tribe of Nofes, iii. pp. 33, 34). Those in Fasc. 

Perak Sakai, who pierce the cartilage Afai. are taken account of at p. 96 

of the nose and ears and insert porcu- se^,^ infra. 


The face is fairly long and broad, but pointed 
towards the chin. The forehead is, in the male, flat, 
often far overshadowing the eyes, and causes the root 
of the nose to retreat far back. Of the men 93 per 
cent, and 73 per cent of the women, are mesoprosopic. 
The lips are thick; the under-lip often hangs down 
and may be described as "swollen." The Sakai are 
distinctly lighter in complexion than the Semang. The 
hair is black, but never deep black ; in most cases it 
shows a brownish shimmer, especially in the young, and 
differs widely from that of the Semang and the Malay. 

From the remarks of other travellers who have 
met with Sakai, as well as from photographs, we may 
picture the Sakai as a slenderly built race, and as often 
presenting an emaciated appearance, which is increased 
by their long, unkempt wavy hair hanging down to the 
shoulders, and by their large restless eyes. 

In evidence of their striking resemblance to the 
Veddas, it is perhaps worth remarking that one of the 
brothers Sarasin, who had lived among the Veddas 
and knew them well, when shown a photograph of a 
typical Sakai, at first supposed it to be a photograph 
of a Vedda.^ 

Without wishing to definitely commit myself as to 
the affinities of this race, I think that it is fairly clear 
even from the existing evidence that they are at any 
rate quite distinct from the Semang or Ulotrichi of 
Martin, as they are also from the Jakun (Lissotrichi) 
type found among the southern tribes. 

A number of other measurements concerning this 
type are taken from the writings of Rudolf Virchow, 

1 This information was given me by quite as emphatically remarked to me 
Professor Martin, who himself showed upon the resemblance of my Sakai 
the photograph. Mr. Shrubsall once photographs to Tamils. 


who, in discussing the height of individuals measured 
by Vaughan- Stevens, gives the figures which are 
quoted in the Appendix. 

In another volume of the Verhandlungen^ Virchow 
refers to the skull of a Sakai (Senoi) woman, which 
he describes as orthodolichocephalic, and the full de- 
scription of which will be found in the Appendix. 

The most interesting point about this skull, apart 
from its dolichocephalic character and certain structural 
anomalies, is the formation of the nose, which is de- 
pressed to such an extent that Virchow was tempted 
to regard it as pithekoid. Another no less important 
point in Virchow's paper is the description he gives of 
the Sakai hair-character, concerning which he says : — 

*• On the other hand, I must also point to a very pronounced Sakai (Blandas) 
characteristic In a recent consignment sent by H. Vaughan-Stevens was found 
the lock of hair of a Sakai (Senoi) man from the north of the Peninsula. The 
memorandum sent with it was to the effect that * the clan to which the man 
belongs does not cut the hair.' At the meeting of 2ist November 1891 {Verh. 
p. 844), I treated the Sakai (Blandas) hair in detail from a large number of 
specimens of hair sent by Vaughan-Stevens. As compared with those specimens, 
I may briefly state that the lock of hair now before us exactly corresponds to 
them. Its wavy structure distinguishes it completely from the spirally curled 
structure of the E, Semang {Pangan) hair {Verh, 1892, p. 443). Its length 
amounts to rather more than 20 cm. , but we cannot decide exactly how long the 
hair was when entire, as it is not stated at what distance from the scalp the lock 
was cut off. It is of a blackish appearance, and in reflected light of a slightly 
brownish and glossy colour ; seen under the microscope in thin sections it is light 
brown, with a dark and often interrupted medulla. The ends, as is the case 
with the uncut hair, are pointed, broken at the sides, and frequently split into two 
or more fragments. 

* • The contrast between the two races cannot be more sharply expressed. Unfor- 
tunately Vaughan-Stevens has neglected to take advantage of his opportunities, 
and to send us a larger number of specimens of hair from his Semang friends, of 
which measurements would also be highly desirable. We hope the opportunity 
will be given him to fill up these gaps." ^ 

Elsewhere Vaughan-Stevens, writing apparently of 
the body-hair of the Sakai (Blandas) tribes, says : — 

« The natural growth of the hair is thin and scattered, and in both sexes the 
direction of growth of the hair (of the body), as well as that at the back of the 
head and under the arms, is slightly upwards." 

^ V. B. G, A, xxviii. 154 (cp. I. c, * lb, xxvi. 359. See also Montano, 

1894, for further particulars). PI. xxxi. 


Old Sakai Man, • Thk Fathkr of all the Sakai«." Ulu Berang, Eight Miles 
FROM Tanjong Malim, South Perak. 

I'ot. I. /. 59. 


The hair of the Sakai (Blandas) in old age is less inclined to become grey 
than that of the Malays, and complete baldness is actually so rare that it is 
looked upon as a remarkable exception which only occurs occasionally.^ 

The more detailed account of the Sakai (Blandas) 
hair referred to above as collected by Vaughan- 
Stevens is as follows, the description of the specimens 
being in Vaughan-Stevens* own words : — 

^*No. 39. Specimen of hair chosen for me by an old Batin, as a typical example 
of Sakai (Blandas) hair ; tradition declared it to be the original form. The Sakai 
themselves unanimously declare that the straight, coarse hair sometimes found 
amoBg them comes from cross-breeding with the Malays, and themselves call it 
coarse (• Kasar *). The supposed original type, of which they are very proud, 
is called Water-hair (* Rambut Ayer'); it is still to be seen occasionally and 
has a distinct reddish tinge. Moreover, it does not as a rule turn white, as the 
coarser hair does. The present specimen is from a Sakai woman 35 years old, 
and has been cut off as close to the scalp as possible." 

No, 40. From a 75-year-old Sakai man, wizened and bent with age. 

No, 41. From a 37-year-old Sakai man. 

No, 43. From children. The shortest specimen is from a 4-months-old 
boy ; the next longest from a 2-year-old girl ; the longest from a 6-year-old boy.^ 

To the foregoing may be added Virchow's descrip- 
tion of a remarkable specimen of hair (No. 105) sent 
by Vaughan-Stevens : — 

It b an immense shock (Schopf) reaching 30 cm. in length, and consists 
of thick glossy black hairs, which display a somewhat reddish tinge towards the 

A fourth specimen of hair (Na 104) sent by Vaughan-Stevens consisted of a 
beautifully wavy lock of 36 cm. in length, which, taken as a whole, was of a 
splendid black, with a reddish shimmer in reflected light, especially towards the 
tips, though otherwise it is coarse but glossy. I find no noticeable difference 
fix>m the Sakai hair which I have already fully described at the meeting of 2 1st 
November 1 891 {Verh, pp. 844-846). 

Not only from these statements of Vaughan-Stevens, but still more from inspec- 
tion of the hair-specimens sent by him, it is clear that the Sakai (Blandas) cannot 
be at all nearly related either to Negritos or Papuans. Moreover, the difference 
of this hair from that of the '* Orang Sakai " described by Miklucho-Maclay is 
abundantly clear.' 

With regard to the above-mentioned specimens of 
hair Virchow adds a few remarks of his own, conclud- 
ing as follows : — 

The net results of this investigation lead me to a conclusion similar to the 
one to which I came at the meeting of the i6th February 1889 ( Verh, p. 158), 

1 Z,f,E. xxix. 178, 179. 

^ Vaughan-Stevens, quoted by Virchow in V, B, G, A, xxiii. 844, 845. 

' V, B, G. A, xxviii. (Virchow) 149,150. 


with respect to the more ancient races of the Southern and South -Eastern 
Islands of the Malay Sea. Just as in these islands I could point out a broad 
zone of wavy-haired people between the spiral -haired Melanesians and the straight- 
haired Malays, so, too, in Malacca the wavy -haired Sakai race (Blandas) 
appears to have established itself between the spiral-haired N^[Tito8 (Semang) 
of the North and the lank- (straff) haired [Jakuns and] Malays of the South 
and of most of the coast districts. For the islanders I have again adopted 
for this race the old and certainly much-misused name of AlfurSs, It follows 
that the near relationship of the Sakai (Blandas) to the AlfiinSs might be inferred 
from this evidence. 

Of the insular Alfur6s I remarked that, in respect of their hair-character, they 
connect up with the Australians on the one hand and the Veddas of Ceylon on 
the other. Perhaps, therefore, the Sakai (*' wild men ") of Malacca might be 
regarded as Dravidians. However, we are precluded firom regarding them as 
entirely identical, owing to the iacx. that the Sakai (Blandas) are inclined to be 
brachycephalic, whereas these other races are dolichocephalic' This raises new 
questions, which can only be decided by further information.^ 

The Colour of the Skin,^ 

According to Vaughan-Stevens, the Sakai (Blandas) of the present time (like 
the western or domesticated (*' tame " Semang) offer nearly as great a diversity of 
colour as the Malays. 

The Sakai is lighter than the Semang, and seems to be more affected by 
heat than the latter (v., however, supra). 

Among the Sakai (Blandas), whose colour varies, he (V.-St.) saw nothing 
that could support the theory that, among a number of individuals, those with 
darker skins stood exposure better on the march. On the other hand, in this 
thickly wooded country one cannot walk far without coming into the protection 
of the shade of the forest 

The Sakai (Blandas) prefer the lighter colour, and are proud of fair- 
coloured children, in which they possibly follow the Malay view. But in olden 
times the light colour was not an attribute of their chiefs.^ 

He could not find tliat there was any relation between a coarse or fine skin 
texture and its colour, when the coarseness of the skin is not the result of special 
exposure, or of a disease. 

He found among the Sakai (Blandas), when no skin disease was present, no 
other smell than that which is ever to be observed in cases where the activity of 
the skin is suppressed, and no cleansing material, such as soap, etc, is employed ; 
for the splashing of water over the body rather answers the purpose of refreshing, 
than that of cleansing, the skin. 


The eyes of the Sakai (Blandas) are all alike, and Vaughan-Stevens observed 
no deviation firom shades Nos. I or 2.^ 

* There can, however, now be little in small numbers between brachy- 

doubt arising from this particular cephalic Negritos as well as brachy- 

difficulty, in view of the fact that cephalic Malayan tribes, 
in the purest strain of Sakai blood * K B, G, A, xxiiL (Virchow) 847. 

doHchocephaly has been shown to ' Z,f,E. xxix. (V,-St.) 174-176. 

obtain. The original dolichocephalic ^ This statement of Vaughan-Stevens 

character of the Sakai appears to have is, I believe, without foundation, 
been modified owing to their isolation * Virchow in V. B, G, A, xxiiL 840. 


MiXKD Sakai-Semang Type, Ulu Batu, Selangor. 


I'aL I. /. 60. 

wr ii 


MiXKD Sakai-Skmang Tvi>k. Ulu Batu, Selancjor. 

Vol I.p.ti. 


In colour the eyes of all the Sakai are exactly alike (Z /. E, xxix. 176), and 
do not have the conjunctiva coloured deep yellow as the Negritos do. 

The eyes of their children are extremely well formed, and with their long 
black eyelashes add much to the beauty of their appearance. There b no trace 
of the " Mongolian fold," in which the skin of the inner comer of the eye droops 
over the eye itself; the edge of the upper eyelid is always well formed.* 

Squinting is certainly known to them, since they are much afraid of the 
endangering of their padi-harvest by a demon (Hantu), whom they represent as 
*' squinting." The Sakai (Blandas) believe that the visual field of a person 
who squints is wider than of a person whose sight is normal.' 

Among the Sakai (Blandas) he (V.'-St.) only met with three cases of short-sight, 
two of which were men and one a woman. On the other hand, however, the 
fiu'-sightedness of the eye cannot be well estimated in the jungle, thickly shut in 
as it is by trees and leaves. Much depends on practice and general acquaintance 
with the objects in the jungle, to which Vaughan-Stevens was, comparatively 
speakings much less accustomed. But the jungle men or women would even 
show him the points of an animal's horns among the surrounding foliage, a thing 
which it is naturally very difficult to discover, whereas he, with normally good 
sight (for an European), had to search vainly for a long time before he observed 
them. Again, ever3rthing which was in motion they saw at once, however insigni- 
ficant it might be in point of size. 

The Sakai (Blandas) had, in general, decidedly weak eyes. In their 
earliest youth, if no accident attacked them, they had good sight for any object 
moving in the jungle. But, as might be expected in the case of a forest-people, 
their eyes soon tired in a strong light. On the few opportunities which Vaughan- 
Stevens had of finding himself with Sakai (Blandas) in a wide, open space, he 
observed that he could distinguish fiur-distant objects much better than they could. 

He adds that among the Sakai (Blandas), who wore Malay clothing, and 
were acquainted with the use of needle and thread, he never met with an old 
Sakai (Blandas) woman who could not thread an ordinary needle without 

On the subject of sight, Mr. L. Wray,* during his 
travels in Perak, came to the following conclusions : — 

'* Seven Sakais firom Ch^roh came up to carry down baggage, so ... in the 
afternoon I measured them and tested their eyesight. I have now tested the 
sight of between thirty and forty of both sexes, and there seems to be no doubt 
that they have very good sight as a race. Of those tested in Batang Padang, the 
shortest distance that the Army test-spots could be seen was 32 feet, and the' 
longest 91 feet. In testing recruits for the British Army 20 feet is con^ered an 
average distance for these spots to be read, and a man reading at over that 
distance is classed as long-sighted, and under as short-sighted. In measuring the 
women there was great difficulty, as they did not know Malay and could not count. 
... I got over it by giving the subject a handful of matches, and explaimng by 
signs that I wanted a match for each spot on the card held up." 


The sense of hearing of the Sakai (Blandas) and Tembeh, though not so acute 
as that of the Jakun, was about equal to that of the W. Semang. 

> Z.f,E, xxix. (V.-St) 176, 177. ^ J,R,A.S., S, B,, No. 21, pp. 

' Griinwedel in Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 148, 149. For fuller statistics and 

152. details, v, Perak Mtu, Notes^^^xx. p. 36. 

3 Z,f.E. xxix. (V.-St.) 180, 181. « Z,f. E. xxix. 181. 


Hands and Fut,^ 

The Sakai (Blandas), like the Semang, experienced no difficulty whatever in 
stretching out one finger when the rest of the fingers were closed. 

The Tittle toe of the Sakai (Blandas) is much less straight than that of the 
Jakun, although they never wear boots as we do to deform their feet, but the 
tip of the little toe is nevertheless bent like ours, and is either comparatively 
small in proportion or differs in direction from the other toes. 

After remarking that the footsteps of the Orang 
Utan are usually turned outwards, Vaughan- Stevens 
adds : — 

One thing, however, is worthy of remark among all Sakai (Blandas), the 
setting down of the foot is done with the middle of the foot. The heel does not 
touch the ground first. But in nine cases out of ten which came under observa- 
tion the foot was injured by thorns, stones, etc., so that from time to time a more 
or less unnatural gait was caused. 

It is, therefore, very difficult to give an exact description of the walk of the 
Sakai (Blandas). The body is held upright and very straight, while the whole 
movement proceeds from the ankles, knees, and hips. At the same time there is 
only a very slight, rhythmical swing of the arms.^ 

One hand usually carries the blow-gun (Sumpitan), the other being armed 
with the parang, i.e, jungle-knife or chopper, and is always in readiness to give 
a quick blow to a prickly rattan or other obstacle half hidden among the foliage 
through which the path of the Sakai leads. This custom has to such an extent 
become second nature that, even when he walks without a weapon in the open 
plains, the Sakai holds his arms in the accustomed position. It is difficult to say 
what is the usual carriage of the head. 

In the matter of strength and physical etidurance the Sakai (Blandas) and 
Tembeh (Temia) are at the bottom of the scale. 

The Sakai (Blandas) are not so clever as the Semang in getting through 
bush or jungle, though the Sakai have the better sense of direction.* 


In climbing a straight high stem the Sakai (Blandas) 
are better than the more civilised Semang. This, 
however, is not saying much, since the Western 
Semang are (according to Vaughan-Stevens) very bad 
climbers* — an opinion already combated (p. 51). 

When the Sakai (Blandas) want to climb a small tree only, they climb it like 
the Central Sakai (Senoi). The larger trees usually have climbing-plants and 
runners hanging down from their branches, or smaller trees in their immediate 

* Z,f, E, xxix. (V..*~ ) 190. arms are not swung in walking. 

^ On the very next r ^ (193), how- * Z. f, E, xxix. (V.-St.) 192, 193. 

ever, Vaughan- Steve IS remarks that the * lb. p. 199. 


Sakai Boy with Blowpipe, Ulu Sungkai, S. Perak 

yd, I. / 62 


Sakai Boy (probably ok Ulu Slim). 

/W. /./ 63. 


neighbourhood, from the branches of which the Sakai can swing himself up into 
the branches of the larger ones. The Sakai, however, always knows how to 
cut notches in the bark for the purpose of climbing. 

At the present day they practise every method of climbing which they can 
learn from their neighbours. 

Access to the high-raised huts of the Tembeh (Temia) is afforded by a tree- 
trunk placed diagonally, similar to the shorter tree-trunk utilised by the Sakai 
(Blandas) of Kuantan, who are much mixed with Tembeh (Temia) blood. They 
allege that as their huts have no doors, the dogs and fowls which are wandering 
about everywhere might otherwise get into the huts and do mischief there when 
the men were away. 

Among the Tembeh (Temia) the object is solely to keep intruders out, 
especially the black panther and the python. For this reason a smooth and 
slippery bamboo is carefully freed from all projections at the nodes, with the 
exception of a few thin twigs, by which the feet may be supported in climbing, 
and set up in a sloping position. No special grip of the toes is used in climbing 
them, and the toes of the Tembeh (Temia), especially the great toe, are not more 
strongly developed for gripping than the toes of other Sakai Very small 
children are often left for hours in those airy huts, on account of their safety, as 
they are here safe from the great cats and snakes, and prevented from falling 
down by the low parapet^ 


The Sakai (Blandas) swim but little, in fact they only do so when they are 
obliged to cross a river, or when they are bathing. They then swim like dogs. 
They throw out their arms forwards in a swinging, circular stroke, while the 
body turns towards the side away from the stroke. Both the breast-stroke and 
side-stroke, as well as swimming on the back, are unknown to them. 

Among the Sakai (Blandas) the Central tribes (Senoi) are always con- 
sidered the best swimmers ; this is probably due to the fact that the big Pahang 
river has afforded them more practice. 

The Tembeh (Temia) cannot swim at all.* 


The Sakai (Blandas) women do not, as a rule, sleep on the side, but on the 
bock, and try to raise the head a little by some sort of pillow. They give as 
thdr reason for this that, if they lie on the side, the hip has to bear the weight 
of the body, in which case they would get " latah," * and suffer from cramp in 
their sleep ! 

The Sakai (Blandas) men often sleep on the back, at the same time drawing 
the legs up towards the body, so that the sole of the foot rests flat upon the 
ground But the side-long position is also not unfrequently adopted by the men 
when they first lie down, in fact sometimes one side and sometimes the other 
is chosen indifferently. Sakai (Blandas) men told Vaughan-Stevens that when 
they lay upon their side such vermm as ants, scorpions, and centipedes would 
crawl over the sleeping-mats and enter their eyes, nostrils, and mouth, whereas 
by lying on the back they could feel their approach. Others, however, declare 
that by sleeping on the back they can hear a noise or alarm-signal better. 

Among the Sakai (Blandas), as among the Semang (Pangan), the bachelors 
inhabited the verandah (when there was one) or else the external portion of the 

* Z./. E, xxix. 200. * lb, p. 198. * A strange hysterical affection 

3 Z,f,E. xxix. 186-198. common among Malays. 


■ f 

huts. Among the Tembeh the only difference was that the bedroom of the 
married people was separated off by a low partition.^ 

Physical Eftdurance,^ 

Sakai tribes which have adopted Malay clothing generally experience dis- 
comfort in the absence of headgear to protect them from the sun. On the other 
hand, the Sakai (Blandas) appear to suffer more from the cold, wet winds 
of the mountains than the Jakun. 

If this power of withstanding change of temperature depended upon the 
relatively greater abundance and regularity of their food, the Sakai should be 
less sensitive to such changes than any other tribe. But whether their sensitive- 
ness to such changes was originally greater than that of other tribes or not, the 
fact that they are now accustomed to clothes and to the protection of better- 
built houses has rendered them more susceptible to every change of temperature. 

The Sakai children endure want of food better than the Semang children 
(z^. supra). 

The younger men of the Sakai have a game called " K'lupent," which is 
usually played when they are sitting round the fire in the evening while their 
womenfolk are plaiting mats and baskets. Each player who is a candidate for the 
favour of a girl, endeavours to heap disgrace on his opponent and raise himself 
in the esteem of the women. The game is played with short slivers of rattan, 
which can by a particular knack be made to draw blood at every stroke, a rapid 
backward motion of the arm and wrist causing the sharp edge of the rattan 
to strike the skin like a knife, and cutting it easily. When I asked for its applica- 
tion in earnest, the force of the blow from the knot made me writhe with pain. 
The instrument is also made from string. The ring (of rattan slivers) is twisted 
round the hand, the knot at the end of the strips being held between the thumb 
and forefinger. The arm is then lifted, and as it is brought down the knot is 
released and descends with a swingeing blow on the forearm of the opponent, 
whilst at the same moment the arm is drawn rapidly in to the body. 

The men sit opposite one another with bare arms. A small stake is deposited 
by each. He who first acts as striker asks the other how many blows of the 
rattan he will bear on his forearm without crying out. If he receives the 
stipulated number without wavering, he puts his opponent's wi^er into his 
pocket, and then in turn takes the rattan slivers and challenges the other to 
name the number of blows he will endure; should any one who receives 
the blows call out for them to cease, he loses his bet and is loaded by his 
opponent and the spectators with scorn and jeers (which is the true purpose of 
the game when, as usual, it is inspired by malice). 

The Sakai (Blandas) children are acquainted with a form of the tug-of-war 
in which one or more children on each side pull a rope in opposite directions. 
They have probably borrowed the idea from Malay children, who may be frequently 
seen playing at it. 

Summary of Sakai Culture. 

The Sakai, though still largely nomadic, and at first 
extremely shy, are perhaps the most sociable and talka- 
tive of the three races, when once their confidence is 

I Z. /. E, xxix. 190. * lb, pp. 201-203. 


gained. Like the Semang they not unfrequently live 
in tree - huts or other temporary forms of shelter. 
Their men wear the tree-bark loin-cloth, and their 
women a tree-bark wrapper, except, of course, where 
they have borrowed Malay clothing. They tattoo 
the face, the design commonly taking the form of four 
gradually converging lines drawn from the region of 
the ear to the root of the nose, with perhaps a sort of 
pitchfork design incised upon the chin. These designs 
are sometimes marked out in rows of black and white 
dots (in lieu of scarification) ; with these may be con- 
nected their black and white bead -necklaces. Both 
scarification and body-painting take, however, various 
forms, the latter having been developed into a regular 
system. They do not circumcise, and seldom file the 
teeth, but they not unfrequently wear a metal ring or a 
{K)rcupine quill inserted through the septum of the nose. 

Their distinctive weapon, like that of the Jakun, 
is the bamboo blowpipe, which they have brought to 
great perfection. 

They have no form of boat, nor do they even as a 
rule use rafts.^ 

Their musical instruments are very fairly similar 
to those of the Semang, and, like the latter, they not 
unfrequently engage in the barter of jungle products. 
Their agriculture is of the most primitive description, 
their chief implement (for breaking-up the soil) being 
a pointed stick. 

Of their religion very little is at present known — 
less even than of that of the Semang. There is, 
however, a kind of deity whom they call Tuhan, and 
who appears somewhat analogous to the Kari of the 
Semang. Their alleged totemism is quite unproved. 

1 Hale, p. 286. 



Like the Semang they are strict in their observ- 
ance of the marriage tie, but unlike them they 
have the greatest possible fear of death, or rather, 
perhaps, of the ghost of the deceased, and will 
frequently burn down or desert an encampment in 
which a death has occurred. 

III. — Race-Characters of Jakun. 

There remains for consideration the third group 
of tribes which inhabit the southern portion of the 
Peninsula. These are the mixed tribes of Martin, and 
include the Jakun or ** savage Malays" of Wallace. 
They fall into three main and two subordinate groups, 
the latter of which are without doubt closely allied. 

1. Tribes mainly of Semang origin, e.g. the 
Kenaboi (?) and perhaps the Udai. 

2. Tribes mainly of Sakai origin, e.g. the Blandas 
and Berembuns (?). 

3. The Jakun or Malayan aborigines, comprising — 
{a) The Orang Bukit, or Land (lit. " Hill") Jakun. 
{b) The Orang Laut, or Sea Jakun. 

Although it is not possible at present to make a 
proper classification of all the tribes of the Jakun 
group, it may yet be useful to attempt a rough and 
general identification of them so far as the very scanty 
information we possess will take us. 

The Blandas properly so called, whose home is in 
Southern Selangor, have been described by Martin as 
dolichocephalic, and hence are most likely to prove 
largely of Sakai extraction.^ Their exact affinities, 

^ For the "Blandas," see also Lenggeng, Singa Kuasa, and Pakat, 

Newbold, ii. 393, where we are told and four Jinangs or chiefo of the 

that they had (in 1839) four Batins second rank, viz. Pawang P&diching 

or chiefs of the first rank, viz. Baning, (" Pawampa de Cheyng" !), Ampu 

Mixed Jakun Type. Bukit Pkual, Sei.angor 


Vol. /./. 67 


however, have not hitherto been traced, and in spite of 
their dolichocephalic skull-character, it would not be 
safe, in the absence of more exact information as to 
their hair - charactery etc., to attempt to so identify 
them as such. They have, therefore, been retained 
in the group of mixed tribes to which the name of 
Jakun has been given in this book. It may be noted 
that although their district is conterminous with that 
of the Besisi, they present a marked contrast to the 
latter tribe, both in respect of their head-index, which 
is dolichocephalic as contrasted with the brachycephaly 
of the Besisi, and also in their language and their 
customs.^ No exact measurements of the Blandas 
have yet been published, pending the appearance of 
Martin s forthcoming work, and hence they will not 
be referred to again in the present chapter. 

The Kenaboi (or "Sakai" of S. Ujong) may 
perhaps prove to be a mixed tribe mainly of Semang 
type (though with some Sakai admixture), as the few 
facts we possess would lead us to expect.* The 
Berembun, or Birmun, and Pago tribes cannot yet be 
safely classified. The Udai appear to have a stronger 
Semang admixture than the tribes surrounding them. 

The Besisi and Mantra of Selangor and Malacca 
are brachycephalic (Martin), and are most probably a 
mixed branch of the Sea-Jakun — in spite of the fact 
that the Besisi dialect presents a close connection with 

Manis, Palsai (? Pa' L&ai), and Ram- ^ For further remarks r$ admixture, 

bofig("Rumbong"). Vaughan-Stevens v, conclusions, infra. 

gives a quite unwarranted extension to * The Kenaboi is a stream in Jelebu. 

the term which he generally uses as In a letter of 3rd November 1902, 

the equiTalent of Sakal He also Mr. Hale writes that the *' O. Kena- 

ttates (obviously as a pure guess) that boi " had so harmful a reputation that 

the amount of Malay blood in them is it was believed that any one who ac- 

*' not less than 2 per cent, and prob- cidentally trod upon their expecto'ra- 

ably more" (V.-St. il 94), but the tion would suffer severely from boils 

«ntire passage wants correction. and blains, if he did not die of it. 


the dialect of the Sakai. They have certainly some 
Semang, and probably a little Sakai admixture, but 
appear nevertheless to be largely Malayan. 

The Beduanda of Naning and Rembau are, as is 
locally known, mixed with a strong Menangkabau Malay 
element. The term " Beduanda " is to be applied — 

(i) To Mohammedan Malays descended, it is 
alleged, from Menangkabau men and aboriginal 

(2) To aborigines (heathen). These latter prob- 
ably have no right to be considered as descended 
from Menangkabau, although they do sometimes 
claim it. 

** Beduanda " appears to be a title introduced from 
without (through Hinduised Malay influence) among 
these tribes. The Malay Beduanda ^ are the premier 
** Suku " or clan in their own estimation, and are 
"sons of the soil," because of their (partial) aboriginal 
descent They recognise the aboriginal Beduanda * as 
distant kinsmen who have been left behind in the 
march of civilisation. The Mantra are Beduanda, 
but the Jakun are not so recognised. 

The Benua of Logan and other early writers, here 
called Benua -Jakun, cannot yet be classed, but the 
Jakun and the Orang Laut have a comparatively large 
Malayan element, though both have in some parts a 
strong infusion of Semang and Sakai blood. 

Labu Tribes. 

Reliable accounts of the tribes in the Labu district 
of Sungei Ujong are so rare that I make no excuse 
for the following quotation : — 

» «« Beduanda Jawa." * " Beduanda Jakun." 


" The tribe settled here {ue. on Perhentian Tinggi estate) consists of twelve 
men, seven women, six older and five small children. It belongs to a larger 
tribe of about two hundred souls, which is settled in Batang Labu, Sungei 
Ujong, under a Batin. 

<* The Batin, who might have been able to give information on the point, was 
not here, and from the somewhat indefinite statements of the older men I 
conclude that this tribe belongs to one of the four great Sakai fiimilies, which 
(according to Martin Lister), coming from the mountains of Skudei, have settled 
in the States of Johol, Jelebu, Klang, and Sungei Ujong, and, indeed, in that 
of S. Ujong, as from all that I could hear they have nothing in common with 
the Sakais {sic, [?] Besisi tribes) of Klang. 

'* Acconiing to the observations made up to the present, the height of the 
men is on the average 1580 mm., of the women 1470 mm. The trunk is long, 
the l^s short and sturdy, the arms long. The shoulders are broad, and the head 
normal ; the &ce at the temples and lower jaw narrow, but broad in the middle. 
The colour of the skin is usually 43/44 of Broca's scale ; the colour of the 
hair 41, Broca. The quantity of hair on the head is considerable, in the beard 
moderate, on the body scanty. The hair is certainly not generally crimped or 
curly, as many report ; for although among the women it is usually so, among the 
men I found it very variable, i.e. both wavy and curly, and yet again straight, 
as amongst the Malays. 

•* The colour of the iris is 2/5, according to Broca. The slits of the eyes are 
somewhat crooked. The nose is small and pointed ; the root broad, as are also 
the nostrils and the bridge. Seen from the side, the bridge of the nose is slightly 
convex, the root deep, the point slightly bent to the side. 

** The lips are thick ; the ear small and somewhat prominent ; the helix is 
incurved ; the lobule adhesive to the head ; Darwin*s tip very insignificant. 

<* The men are generally well formed ; the women are remarkably small and 
slender as a rule. In physical strength they appear to resemble the Malays, though 
they may perhaps be somewhat tougher ; in the handling of the chopper (parang) 
and adze (bliong) they are acknowledged to be the Malays' superior, though this 
may perhaps depend upon agility and practice rather than on actual strengUi. In 
the felling of trees they always strike the same point with the greatest precision 
vrith their heavy narrow axes. It is one of their special characteristics that they 
do not use the hoe in the same way as other people ; instead of making the stroke 
and bringing back the hoe in the same direction for the next blow, they bring it 
back to its original position by raising it in both hands over the left temple and 
over the head, so that every blow gains considerably in force. 

** The carriage of the body is, in general, negligent ; the shoulders are drawn 
inwards, the knees and feet turned inwards; in fact, even the strongest men 
afford an unedifying spectacle. In the jungle, however, they appear to greater 
advantage, as they are evidently more at home there. They do not strike about 
them with the chopping-knife (parang) so much as the Malays in clearing a way 
Ibr themselves, but turn and wind about with much agility in all directions, and 
in this way move firom one spot to another very noiselessly and quickly. 

«* In physiognomy they generally resemble the Malays so closely ( !) that one only 
recognises them by Uieir look, which is invariably one of surprise and timidity ; 
they have besides a somewhat wilder expression than the Malays. 

** Their power of sight was throughout very well developed ; but without having 
taken exact tests, nothing abnormal in this respect has struck me. The same 
remark applies to their sense of hearing. 

** I have not been able to notice any artificial deformities among them ; but as 
natural abnormalities I might mention the unusually broad and inward-turned 
feet of most of the men, and the quite remarkable pigmentation of the breasts 
of the women. Of the seven multiparas which I had the opportunity of obser- 
ving, two were already quite old and shapeless ; the other five, however, were 
all imder twenty-three, and in each of them the extraordinarily light-coloured 


areola (Broca, about 40) * covered the nipple and the greater part of the mamma 
like a broad flat cover.' The diameter of the areola was never below 5 cm., 
and in some almost 10 cm."^ 

Kenaboi Tribes. 

One of the tribes mentioned by Logan consists 
of the "Sakai," said to frequent the neighbourhood 
of Mount (Gunong) Kenaboi. These are doubtless 
identical with the Orang Kenaboi^of Vaughan-Stevens.* 
If it is possible to locate this " tribe," and at present 
there is hardly any information concerning them, the 
latter name, i.e. " Kenaboi," is obviously preferable 
to that loosely used by Logan. 

Vaughan- Stevens considered them, as already 
stated, to be a subdivision of the parent-stock of the 
Sakai (Blandas). This classification, however, re- 
quires confirmation, the measurements taken showing 
a brachycephalic as well as a dolichocephalic element. 

Further measurements taken by Vaughan-Stevens 
will be found in the Appendix.' 

Berembun and Udai Tribes. 

Logan* further mentions certain tribes living to 
the north of the Benua-Jakun, whom he calls the 
Berembun ('* Birmun ") tribes, because they have their 
headquarters about Gunong Berembun and the neigh- 
bouring mountains.* 

The upper reaches of the rivers rising in the 
Berembun mountains are occupied^ by the tribe called 

The Udai (who appear to be the same people 
who are known to the Benua-Jakun of Johor under 

* W. Rowland in Mitt. Geog. Ges, * Loc, cit, 

fVien, xlL 706, 707. * Gunong Bennun appears to be 

* Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 97. identical with Gunong Berembun, 
' Virdbow in K B, G, A, xxiii. 842- which is situated in Sungei Ujong, 

844. I02* 2' E. by 2* 55' N. 


the name of Orang Pago) are found on some of the 
tributaries of the Muar. This tribe has less approxi- 
mated to Malayan habits than the others.^ 

Newbold,* on the other hand, makes the following 
remarks about this tribe : — 

The Udai tribe is little known. The Tuanku 
Putih of Rembau once informed me that the Udai 
were a race of savages thinly scattered over the states 
of Jelebu, Pahang, Trengganu, and Kedah, and that 
they resembled in features the darker variety of 
Jakun." Their size is represented as smaller, and 
their habits more savage. 

Newbold regards them as distinct from the Benua, 
under which title he groups the following tribes: — 
Jakun, Orang Bukit, Rayat, Utan, Sakai, Alas,* Blan- 
das, Besisi, and Akik. 

Vaughan-Stevens * has the following note on the 
Udai :— 

•* The term Udai is applied by the Pangan to — 

" (i) The pygmy tribes of Belum in Perak. 

"(2) By the Malays to the Orang Jinak or 
* Tame ' Semang. 

** (3) And also to a species of demon (Hantu), who 
was sometimes identified with the whole jungle race, 
whom many Patani Malays call * Hantu Pari,' or 

Belum, as already noted, is in the extreme north 
of Perak, but the people referred to are Semang, as 
may also be the Udai of Newbold and Logan. The 
latter live on the Muar, which rises in the Negri 

> Logan, vol. L /. <r. Perak " (Newbold, ii. 383). It should 

* Newbold, iL 381, 38a be noted that such names as ''Orang 

^ I,e, the Negrito element among Bukit," "Rayat," and "Orang Utan" 

the Jakims. or '* Alas," can hardly be considered as 

4 The " Alas are said to be a tribal names. 

tattooed race, living in the interior of ^ P. loi. 


Sembilan and in Sungei Ujong. Their alternative 
name Pago is taken from a tributary of the Muar in 
Johor which bears that name. 

So little is definitely known of these Orang Pago 
or Udai, however, that it is very difficult to ascertain 
what is their exact relationship to the other wild people. 
On the whole, they are probably a race somewhat mixed 
with the Semang, dwelling in N.W. Johor, the Negri 
Sembilan, Sungei Ujong, and Jelebu ; or they may 
even perhaps be chiefly of Negrito origin, an outlier, 
as it were, of the main groups of that race whose 
principal home is farther to the north. For the 
present, and until more definite information is forth- 
coming, the question must remain open. 


One of the most important of the tribes living on 
the southern extremity of the Peninsula are the Besisi. 
The name always used by themselves is *'Sisi*'; the 
Malay explanation (Besisi = Bersisik) ^ is certainly due 
entirely to Malay popular etymology. 

According to Logan (/. c.\ the Mantra on the north- 
west " march with the Besisi, one of the most numerous 
tribes, who occupy all the streams flowing in that 
direction from Gunong Berembun. It is this tribe 
which occupies the Sungei Ujong and Linggi, and the 
lower part of the Langat, with their feeders." 

Martin says of the Besisi that they are essentially 
brachy cephalic, whilst the Blandas, like the Sakai 
(Senoi), are chiefly dolichocephalic. He adds that 
whilst the Sakai (Senoi) are amongst the shortest of 
the wild tribes, the Blandas and Besisi show a larger 
percentage of relatively taller individuals. With them, 

* Le, the "scaly" people. 


curiously enough, the women also are tall (1510 mm.), 
and the sexual difference sinks with them to 2.4 cm/ 

Mantra or Mintera. 

The Mantra (Mentra or Mintera),^ the largest 
tribe, dwell about Gunong Berembun and the adjacent 
mountains. They possess the higher part of both the 
western and eastern streams. On the south they fre- 
quent the upper part of the Langat, etc. The follow- 
ing notes on the physical characters of the ** Mantra" 
are given by Logan," who gives figures : — 

The remarks respecting the Benua physiognomy 
{v. infra) are, on the whole, applicable to the "Mantra." 
The face of the woman (figured), in particular, although 
grave, is not dull and sullen. In the case of the 
most intelligent of the party, the head preserves the 
general Benua characteristics. The forehead is fine, 
but as usual the cheek-bones swell out laterally beyond 
it The faces of all the Mantra seem to be formed 
of two parts, separated by a line across the eyes. 
The upper (part) is the forehead, rising from a base 
considerably narrower than the line connecting the 
zygomatic projections. The great bulk of the lower 
part is horizontally oblong, the external lines having 
a slight inclination inwards from the zygomatic arches 
to the angles of the lower jaw opposite the mouth, 
after which they converge towards the chin, which 
forms an angle much more obtuse than in the Beduanda 

* For further measurements see App. ' Often derived from Mai. " Mantra" 

According to Newbold (ii. 393) the (a "charm"), I believe wrongly, the 

chiefs of the Besisi included one Batin word being pronounced MSnterfi' by 

or chief of the first rank only, viz. Pa* the Mantra themselves. ** M5n- 

Limpei, who succeeded his uncle Breh dSra' " ( = a ** man " in Semang) seems 

(" Breyk I "), a Jinang called Mumin, a a better derivation, though the " d " is 

Jnkrah named Sakinal, and a Poyang certainly a difficulty. 

named Manan. ' /. /. A. vol. i. p. 294. 


Kallang.^ This form is given by the lower jaw not 
proceeding directly to the ear, but forming an angle 
below it. The vertical elongation of the upper part 
of the face is a striking feature. The nose in all is 
small and slightly turned up, and the mouth large. 
The hair falls over the shoulders ; and, in one of 
the men, showed a profusion of curls. The toes of the 
Mantra tribes, like those of all the tribes of the interior 
with which I have any acquaintance, are spreading, 
so that the foot is very broad anteriorly in propor- 
tion to its length. Other characteristics may be 
gathered from an inspection of the annexed table.* 

Elsewhere • the lips of the Mantra are said to be 
** gross and loose," and the profile prognathous. 

M. Borie * stated that the tribes from Selangor up 
to Mount Ophir are known as Mantra, and that " the 
number of Mantra " did not appear to him to exceed 
2000, although it was one of the most numerous tribes. 
To many authors even this estimate appears too great 
It is indeed doubtful if M. Borie was right in stating 
that the Mantra were the most numerous tribe. They 
distinguish themselves both from the Besisi and the 
Jakun. M. Borie speaks of the Mantra as extending 
from Selangor to Mount Ophir, in which case he has 
evidently included with them the Besisi. 

The Catholic mission to the Mantra near Malacca 
was visited by Miklucho-Maclay, who gives the head- 
index of the Mantra (15) as between 74 and 89.* 

Further measurements will be found in the 

* Sec under O. Laut. • /. /. A, vol. i. p. 301. The 

^ See Appendix. The '* profusion *< loose '* lips are a Sakai feature. 

of curb*' may be due to Semang ad- ^ (Trans. Bourien), p. 72. 

mixture ; in other respects the features ^ Virchow in V, B. G, A, xxiii. 

described are Sakai. 843. 


M.-Maclay strongly supports the Malayan character 
stipulated for the Mantra, although as he believed 
that element to be due to admixture with civilised 
Malays, he fails to see the full force of his facts. 

He says that the Orang Mantra, near Malacca, are a small tribe better known 
than the other Orang Utan, from the fact that, so long ago as the year 1848, 
Catholic missionaries settled down among them.^ He visited a number of them 
at the Ayer Salak Mission near Malacca, and found them, in consequence of the 
influence of the school and their constant intercourse with the missionaries, " the 
most nninteresting of all the Orang Utan tribes for the purposes of his particular 
studies." Their language had been forgotten and had been replaced l^ Malay, 
in which all their school-books and religious works were written. The mission- 
aries had done nothing to collect the remains of the old language. 

The Mantras whom he saw (most of them children and women) were almost 
without exception of a Malay type ; if he had come to see them without knowing 
that they were Mantras, he would probably have taken them for a number of 
Malays, badly fed, and brought up in a miserable condition, and he should have 
doubted the possibility of any mixture of Melanesian blood.' 

According to Logan, the Mantra were chary of 
bathing, and their only plaything was a kind of top 
called "gasing kunde."' 


The Jakun of the Rembau and Negri Sembilan 
states are said to bear the closest resemblance, how- 
ever, to the Malays of those states. " But we cannot 
infer from this that they descend from these Malays, 
as we know by history and tradition that they were in 
the Peninsula before them ; and that the Rembau 
Malays descend from the Jakun by their mother's side, 
as we have seen when speaking of the arrival of To' 
PSt6r (Tu Puttair), which explains sufficiently the re- 
semblance we perceive in the [Rembau] Malays to 
the Jakun."* 

Favre states that the Jakun — of these states {i.e. 

^ The foonder of the mission, M. mission in 1878. 
Borie, has written a short paper upon ^ J, R, A, 5., S, B.^ No. 2, pp. 

them, since printed in Mise. Essays 218, 219. 
on IndO'China^ series ii voL i. pp. * /, I. A, vol. i. p. 330*. 

286-307. Herr F. Jagor visited the * Favre iny. /. A, vol. ii. p. 245. 


of Rembau, Negri Sembilan, etc.) — were very short, 
their physiognomy was low, and seemed to announce 
great simplicity ; many of them were ugly and badly 
made — they had the inferior part of the nose much 
depressed — but though their lips projected a little they 
were generally well formed. To the foregoing Favre 
adds that he had already observed that this class of 
Jakun bore a great resemblance to the Malay ; or at 
least to many of the Malays.' 

JoHOR Land-Tribes — Distribution. 

The Jakun of Johor were spoken of by Logan 
as being a taller race than those of Malacca. He 
found several of them with hawked or aquiline 
noses ^ — the men were healthy but generally thin; 
the women, on the contrary, were plump, and though 
healthy too, were not particularly ** stout "(.'^). 

Logan has given the fullest account of the wild folk 
that inhabit Johor. He divided them into several 
distinct tribes, the first of which he called the Orang 
Benua of Johor. These occupied all the interior of 
Johor properly so called. They also possessed the 
interior of the most southerly portion of Pahang. The 
most definite description of their territory, however, 
was that they occupied the upper branches of the most 
southern system of rivers in the Malay Peninsula.* 
These rivers, from west to east, were the Batu Pahat, 
the Pontian, the Johor river, and the Endau. This 
latter communicates in its upper reaches with the Batu 
Pahat by a branch called the Sembrong, so that the 

1 /. /. A. vol. ii p. 246. may be due. It does not, moreover, 

\h} This, coupled with the greater appear to be so common as to be 

height, points to some sort of admixture, typical of the tribe, much less of the 

but it is impossible in the absence of race, 
further details to say to what race it * y. /. A. vol. i. p. 246 ieq. 


communities living to the west could communicate 
with those of the east, and vice versa. 

All these rivers except the Pontian rise in a group 
of mountains known as Gunong Blumut. 

Two rivers in this neighbourhood do not appear 
to be inhabited by the Jakun ; these are the Pulai in 
the south-west of Johor, and the Sedili, lying just to the 
north of the Johor river. Logan found no Benua on 
the Johor river below the junction of the Sayong and 
Lenggiu (branches of the Johor river). On the 
north-west they did not extend beyond the Simpang 
Kiri — a branch of the Batu Pahat. Whether the 
Pahang tribes — to the north of the Endau — ^are similar 
to the Benua, he had no opportunity of ascertaining, 
but the Benua inhabiting the country indicated un- 
doubtedly formed a separate tribe in themselves — 
they had no connection with any other tribe and 
scarcely any knowledge of such.^ 

Race-Characters of Johor Land-Tribes. 

Speaking of the personal appearance of the Benua- 
Jakun (or " Benua of Johor," as he calls them), Logan 
says * that in personal appearance they bore a strong 
family resemblance to the Malays, and he remarked of 
many of them, as he had previously done of the Besisi, 
that the difference was scarcely appreciable so long as 
they remained at rest and silent. But the great majority 
were at first- glance distinguishable from Malays. 
The most constant and obvious characteristic was the 
eye, which, as in the Berembun tribes (noticed below), 
was soft, mild, and with a liquid brilliancy, very different 
from the dark, cloudy aspect of that of the Malay. He 

1 Logan, y. /. A, vol. i. p. 246 seq, ' lb, p. 249 seq. 


only noticed in two or three of the men that habitually 
wild expression which occurs more frequently amongst 
the Berembun tribes. The mouth varies greatly, but in 
all is open and entirely devoid of that degree of firm- 
ness which generally characterises that of the Malay, 
but which is sometimes wanting in them also. In a 
considerable number the lips are thick and projecting, 
and this is sometimes carried so far that they are as 
prominent as the nose. The lips do not form an acute 
angle but are often in a line. The forehead has a 
moderate slope, and in itself is well formed, though 
small. But it is disproportionate to the face, the 
middle part of which, between the posterior part of 
the lower jaw and the upper part of the cheek-bones, 
expands laterally much beyond the base of the fore- 
head. The nose is always low, whereas in the Malay, 
although it is frequently of the same description, it is 
sometimes seen higher and more shapely. The general 
shape of the head and features of the Benua assimilates 
to the Malayan, although it is decidedly smaller ; but 
it is not clear whether more examples might not be 
obtained of approximation to Bugis faces than to 
Malayan. In many cases the Benua -Jakun face 
is fat and fleshy and all the features heavy, but in 
general it is not fat. The greatest breadth is commonly 
across the cheek-bones, but in several instances where 
the jaws were prominent the lower part of the face was 
broadest. Viewed in profile, the jaw-bones are seen 
to advance more than in the Malays in general, so 
that the chin, lips, and extremity of the nose are in 
one line, approaching to the vertical, which forms an 
obtuse angle with that on which the nose and fore- 
head are placed. Physically they may be considered a 
link between the Negrito ("negro") and brown races 


of the Archipelago. The general expression of the 
face denotes good-nature, mildness, innocence, content, 
want of mental energy and reflectiveness, and a pre- 
dominance of the senses over the intellect. The com- 
plexion is generally similar to that of the Malays, but 
he noticed several who were much fairer than any 
Malays. The hair is black and in general smooth 
and lank, and in all somewhat more dry and tangled 
than in the Malays, arising from the little oil which 
they use. The children were often dull and fat, and 
very timid, yet many were lively, bold, and engag- 
ing, and his Malay followers everywhere remarked 
that in appearance they could not be distinguished 
from Malayan children. The body is smaller and in 
general shorter than that of a Malay, but it is hand- 
somer and less heavy ; the great length of the trunk 
in proportion to the limbs sometimes destroys the 
effect of the slighter and neater build. The chest is 
generally broad and full, and the shoulders narrower 
and less sloping than is the case with Malays. The 
pelvis is not so broad, and the limbs in particular are 
lighter, neater, and often well shaped. They are almost 
always in excellent condition, without being too fat, 
although the softer sex has often a tendency to obesity. 
The comparative shortness of stature, and the smooth, 
rounded surfaces which the person presents throughout, 
in a large majority of the Benua-Jakun, add to the 
Bugis aspect which is often observable among them.^ 

Most of the preceding remarks may be extended 
to the Berembun tribes. 

Miklucho-Maclay, in a brief account of an excursion 
made long after Logan, in 1875, through Johor, comes 
to the conclusion that there can be no doubt of the 

* Logan in/, /. A, vol. L p. 250. 


existence in Johor of an aboriginal non- Malayan 
population, not only not of Malay origin, " but prob- 
ably related to the Papuans " (!). 

Here and there ^ he came across individuals whom 
he could not consider otherwise than as retrogrades 
to the main aboriginal type. In most of these cases 
the hair, though not absolutely identical with that of 
the pure Papuan type, resembled in texture and growth 
that of the Malayo-Papuan (mixed race) of the West 
Coast of New Guinea, who are by no means incon- 
siderable in number. In these individual cases the 
hair was quite different from the curled hair of the 
other Jakun ("Orang Utans").* 

The chief reasons for his decision on this point 
were deduced from the existence of these reversions 
from the present to the aboriginal type ; the fact that 
the Jakun (**Orang Utans") were not easily dis- 
tinguishable from the Malays inhabiting the interior of 
Johor did not diminish this decision, because these 
Malays had "by intermarriage partly inherited the 
Jakun ('Orang Utan') type." 

This system of intermarriage had, in M.-Maclay s 
opinion, been ** in practice for centuries," and was 
likely to have been occasioned " by the flight into the 
interior of those of the coast Malays who preferred 
retirement into the jungle to embracing the doctrines 
of Islam " at the time of the conversion of the country 
to Mohammedanism. 

^ The italics are mine. The net consciously selected Negritos to figure 
result of M.-Maclay*8 remarks is to and observe, without pajring any re- 
establish the presence of a small gard to the perhaps somewhat less 
Negrito element among some, at all striking characteristics of the Malajran 
events, of the Jakun tribes of Johor. tjrpe so general in the tribes through 
Unfortunately M.-Maclay could not get whom he passed. But this weakness^ 
rid of his preconceived ideas, and as unfortunately, is a very general one. 
he was hunting for what he believed ' M.-Maclay, Joum, East Asia, i. 

to be the Papuan (I) element, he un^ 97. 


Miklucho-Maclay figures a woman of the river 
Leba, a tributary of the Endau, age about i8 years, 
and mother of two children ; height 1420 mm. ;^ head 
brachycephalic ; index 81. The hair was frizzled, and 
for this reason Miklucho-Maclay selected her to figure. 
She cannot then be regarded as a typical example of 
the Wild Tribes (*' Orang Liar ") of that neighbour- 
hood — who are in all probability identical with 
Logan's Benua-Jakun, — as Maclay speaks of meeting 
with individuals with frizzled hair only "here and 

A male Jakun ("Orang Utan") from Garib, on a 
tributary of the Endau, is also figured by the same 
author. His height is 1500 mm. ;* cephalic index 79 ; 
age about 18. "The face is remarkable owing to the 
small forehead, a broad, slightly projecting nose, thick 
lips, narrow under-jaw, and receding chin. The hair 
is of Malayan type." 

The third person figured, a woman of the Jakun 
(" Orang Utan ") Sletar, belongs to a branch of the 
Orang Laut.' 

It is difficult to form any estimate of the numbers 
of the Benua- Jakun of Johor. 

Maclay remarks that these tribes are gradually 
becoming extinct, and attributes it to the constant 
advance of the Malay and Chinese population, and to 
frequent intermarriage between the Malays and the 
Jakun (" Utan") women ; the latter race is becoming 
intermixed into the former, and this mixed race is fast 

But it would have been more consistent had he said 

1 In orig. 1.42 inches {su\ O. Sletar see Lapicque, Touri du 

• In orig. 1.50 inches (w). Af.y N.S. ii. (1896), !'*« sem. pp. 

' For other illustrations of the 58, 59. 



that the "aboriginal non- Malayan population** was 
being swamped by intermixture with Malay blood, 
assuming his view to be correct, for the "aboriginal 
population," according to his own theory, already 
largely consists of individuals of mixed parentage. 

Hervey, writing six or seven years after Miklucho- 
Maclay, states that the settlements of the tribe under 
discussion, whom he calls Jakun, on the Sayong and 
Lenggiu, on the Benut, Pontian, and Batu Pahat, as well 
as those on the Madek, a tributary of the Sembrong, 
and the upper Endau (Indau), may be described as 
Orang Ulu Jinak, or "tame tribes of the interior." 
He believes that there are within the limits of Johor 
a few representatives of the Orang Liar, or wild men, 
amongst the Segamat hills, near the source of the 

The " Madek tribe " was visited by Hervey, who 
says that their numbers are very limited, comprising 
no more than thirty souls. They are not uniform in 
type, even their limited community presenting several 
varieties, which is accounted for by the intermarriage 
with Malays ; the Chinese have, he believes, had little, 
if any, intercourse with them. 

In the Appendix will be found Virchow's remarks 
on the Jakun material (measurements, etc.) collected 
by Vaughan-Stevens. 

Under the same reference will be found Virchow*s 
description of three Jakun skulls sent home by the 
same collector, the main points of interest in which are 
as follows : — 

The first of these skulls was that of a young 
woman, and was very light, the second, that of an 
old man ; yet both, in fact, were characterised by 

^J,Ii,A,S.^S.B,, No. 8, p. icx>j^. 


Virchow as being, in point of size, a dwarf skull 
(nannocephalic). The skull shown in Fig. 3 belonged 
in shape to the bullet-head type, but was high in 
proportion (hypsi-brachycephalic). The nose was 
very broad, the bridge being deeply incurved and 
short, its position, together with that of the teeth 
(which were thickly encrusted with betel), agreeing 
very well with the extreme prognathism of this 
specimen. The second skull (that of the old man) 
was a little broader in proportion than that of the 
young woman (ortho-mesaticephalic). The features 
were large and heavy, the orbits very large, and the 
nose broad and flat (platyrhine). 

The third (which was stated to be that of a male, 
but appeared to Virchow to be that of a female) was 
of yet broader and flatter appearance (eurycephalic). 
The cheek-bones, as a whole, were depressed, the 
orbits of moderate size, and the nose resembled that 
of No. 2. In this skull, again, as in No. 2, progna- 
thism of a pronounced' type was present. The pro- 
portions of the face in all three skulls were much more 
constant than those of the cerebral portion of the 
skull. Nevertheless, in spite of a certain amount of 
marked variation in the latter, ** the racial unity of the 
tribe cannot be doubted, as the similarities are greater 
and more numerous than the differences." Virchow 
proceeds to describe the limb-bones of a female skeleton 
sent home by the same collector, and in this con- 
nection remarks that, although they undoubtedly come 
from an adult individual, '' they are small and delicate 
like children's bones." 

From this Professor Virchow drew the conclusion 
that "in any case we can congratulate ourselves 
on seeing before us the most unmistakable dwarf 


bones offered by ethnology.*' If, however, by this 
expression he intends to convey — ^^which appears to 
be the only interpretation possible — that the Jakun 
are a dwarf race, one can only reply that any such 
conclusion, especially when based upon measurements 
taken from a single individual, even if it were other- 
wise well founded, would be altogether premature, and 
furnishes an example of one of the curious lapses to 
which even great intellects appear occasionally liable. 
We shall have to await, there is very little doubt, a 
considerable body of fresh evidence before any such 
conclusion can be either definitely established or 

On the important subject of the hair-character of 
the Jakun, Virchow remarks that in his opinion the 
hair of all the Jakuns examined (by Vaughan-Stevens) 
belonged to the same type, and that the contrast with 
that of the Semang and Sakai was " as sharp as can 
be imagined." This was a matter of the more im- 
portance "as the relationship of the Jakun to the 
other tribes has always been a matter of dispute." 

The Jakun hair, then, appears to have been, 
generally speaking, black ("glossy black" in the case 
of a specimen sent) and straight, and the percentage 
of Jakuns with wavy or curly hair seems to have been 
extremely small. There can at all events be no 
doubt whatever, in spite of the exceptions that 
admittedly occur, that the former is the real hair-type 
of the Jakun race. 

The skin -colour in general was a yellowish or 
greyish tint of brown (No. 37 of the Parisian colour- 
plate being the commonest shade). 

The eyes of the Jakun were usually a dark 
shade of brown (Nos. 2-3), and the conjunctiva 


frequently more or less bloodshot. The teeth were 
good, often slightly projecting, but free from caries ; 
the lips well formed and thin ; the ear lobes invariably 
perforated and much distended. 


The sense of hearing was certainly sharper among the Jakun ^ [than among 
either the Semang or the Sakai]. 

Hands and Feet, 

In the case of the Jakun, especially with the children, it is possible to 
ascertain pretty exactly, by observing the feet, whether any kind of mixture with 
Malay or other blood, at least of recent date, has taken place. The little toe 
of the Jakun, especially in childhood, is very straight in comparison with that 
of the Sakai (Blandas), and quite especially so in comparison with that of the 
Malays and Chinese. It has much less of the talon-like crook which is so usual 
in our own feet. I have, in fiaict, seen little toes in Jakun children which were 
as straight and well- formed as any of the other toes of the foot. 

When, moreover, the Jakun arrives at manhood, and especially by the time 
he is upwards of thirty years old, his feet become covered all over with knobs 
and knots, are stiff, ugly, scarred and diseased. The Jakun never wash, 
and although their hands and feet are often in water, it is usually dirty, marshy, 
and unhealthy water, which penetrates into the cracks of the skin, scratches and 
pricks caused by thorns, etc, and causes the limbs to swell and stiffens them, 
until they look like the work-worn hands of an old labourer in England who 
has had to be out in all sorts of weather. 

This is one result of the hardships of their life ; for the infants and children 
have small, well-formed hands and feet. The contrast between those of the 
father and of the youngest child is very great. The hands of the women, how- 
ever, are beautiful and soft 

The half-blooded Orang Laut are skilful at thieving, especially with the toes. 
I have been robbed of small objects which lay on the ground, while I have been 
talking with a man, face to face, and never noticed that he took them off. I have 
also seen from the comer of the eye how the toes of the foot slowly slid over the 
desired object and dragged it along with them, till the foot could be raised to the 
hand, when the thing could be grasped in the fingers and hidden.' 


The oldest (1) method of climbing employed by the Jakun (or «Benua") 
consists in binding the ankles with a head-rope {Kbpf'Seil) as the Sinhalese do.' 


The Jakun (Benua) swim well, and are good divers. They use the Malay 
method. The Orang Laut is an excellent swimmer. He swims, like the Malay, 
on the Inreast, so that his body is in a somewhat sidelong position. He stretches 
the left and right arm alternately out of the water, and brings them back to the 
side of the body, like the spokes of a wheel from the hub. The hands are 

» Z,/. E, xxix. 182. « lb, p. 190. » lb. p. 200. 


thus directed backwards with open palms, and the legs are struck outwards at 
each motion of the body, like those of a frog. The children swim as well as 
adults, even before they can walk. The Orang Laut are also excellent divers.^ 

Among the Jakuns, two children at a time will take the end of a rattan-rope 
between the teeth and tug till one has conquered the other ; but they have not 
the Malay tug-of-war. 

It amused me very much to see how a small Jakun boy one day diverted 
his comrades by sitting down in the well-known Indian fashion, with the soles 
of his feet placed flat on the floor, his legs bent at the knees, and drawn up 
close to the body, and his body depressed till it almost touched the ground. 
While he was in this position a short stick of bamboo was placed through his 
elbows behind his back. Thus handicapped, the fisit, tubby little fellow had to 
bend forward till he touched the ground with his forehead, without letting the 
bamboo slip out of position. All made the attempt, but this little fellow was the 
most expert and agUe of all.' 


The Jakun, whether lying on one side or the other, usually rolls himself 
together into a ''ball" for sleeping. If the night is hot, he soon begins to 
unroll himself a bit, but in the early or colder hours of the morning one 
can be quite sure of finding both sexes with knees drawn up to the body. 
The children sleep from earliest childhood on a mat which is laid upon the 
ground. Their place is at their mother's breast, between her and the smoulder- 
ing fire, and enclosed more or less in her arms.' 

As soon as signs of approaching puberty appear in their children, the Jakuns 
arrange for them to sleep apart. On land, the boy slept in a separate part of the 
hut, or in the front part of the boat if he was on water. In the covered 
platforms on the coast the girls slept with the married people. In the temporary 
huts with covered platforms used in former times, which the Jakuns visited in 
their well-known places of assembly on the coast, the bachelors, when they 
passed the night there, always slept in huts which were separate from the married 

Physical Endurance, 

In illustration of the fortitude of the Jakun, Vaughan • Stevens tells of 
one who had deep-seated ulcers. '* I gave him sulphate of copper {Blattstcin) 
and dncoid, showed him how to use it, and expressly warned him to be careful. 
But as I feared a misunderstanding, I followed him soon after he had left me, 
and came upon my patient just as he had made use of the Blaustein, That 
had been done very freely, as the earlier neglect of the ulcer prevented him 
from feeling it at once, although the whole surface of about four square inches 
was touched with it.'* The patient squatted on the ulcered leg, and Vaughan- 
Stevens saw the muscles of the leg quiver and contract into knots in con- 
sequence of the pain which the patient felt after a few minutes ; but not a 
movement, not a sound, nor any other sign except a deep breathing was to be 
observed. **He began to speak in firmly measured tones, and when I 
remarked that that was called medicine (* ubat '), he calmly replied that the 
doctor (' bomor ') had told him so. He had shown endurance with a vengeance, 
but as there was no reason to put him to a further test, I gave him a morphia 
injection, for which he was very grateful." * 

The question of the Jakun's sensitiveness to heat is difficult to answer, since 

1 Z.J\E, xxix. 198. « lb. p. 201. 3 lb, 186. 

* lb, p. 190. * lb, pp. 205, 206. 


he wears, as a rale, nothing but a head-band to keep his long hair in order, and 
hence gets so accustomed to the sun's rays that he scarcely feels any special 
increase in the son's heat. 

The Jakon appear to suffer less from the wet, cold winds of the mountains 
than any of the other tribes. The Jakun appears to owe his powers of endurance 
to the relative robustness both of his physical and mental powers, due to his 
greater tendency to savagery. 

He has, moreover, long carried on a rade but persistent form of agriculture, 
cultivating rice and tubers, though he also consumes much more fish than the 

The Jakun children endure want of food better than those of the Semang.^ 

Sea-Jakun or Orang Laut — Distribution. 

Orang Laut is the name applied to wandering 
coast tribes whose permanent dwelling is usually in 
their boats. They are spoken of as Rayat Laut, or 
Sea-subjects — subjects, that is, of the kings of Johor 
or Malacca. According to Crawfurd,* they are some- 
times called Sika, Orang Akik ('•Akkye"), or more 
frequently Bajau or pirates. Their headquarters are 
the narrow straits between the islands of the Johor 
archipelago.* The same writer says that from this 
neighbourhood they have spread to the shores of 
Banca, Billiton, some of the islands of the coast of 
Borneo, and even as far as the Celebes and Bum, 
from whence they make voyages to the north coast of 
Australia. Prior to the introduction of steam-vessels 
by the English and Dutch Governments these " Sea- 
folk " are said to have been formidable pirates.* 

The Johor archipelago is thinly peopled by a 
number of " tribes " of Orang Laut, known collectively 
as the Orang Pe-suku-an,*^ a name meaning the people 
divided into tribes. A list of some twelve of these 
tribes is also given, and we are told that besides these 

> Z.f. E, xxix. 202, 203. Singapore and Billiton (see /. /. A, 

* Des€r. Dict,^ s,v, "Orang Laut." voL i. p. 336»). * V, p. 570 infra, 

* The Johor archipelago consists of ^ See/. /. A, voL L p. 336*, ** Eth- 
the innumerable islands lying between nology of the Johor Archipelago." 


there are some wild tribes in the interior of the larger 

The Sabimba river has not yet been traced, but the 
Orang Sletar take their name from Sungei Sletar, a 
creek of the island of Singapore, only 8 miles distant 
from the modern town. According to Thomson,^ they 
numbered in all 200 people, or 40 boats, and were 
subject to a Batin or petty chief, under the sovereignty 
of the Sultan of Johor. 

At the time of the first landing of Sir Stamford 
Raffles at Singapore about thirty families of Orang 
Laut lived a little way up the Singapore river, about 
half of them on shore and half in boats.* This settle- 
ment had been in existence since 181 1 or thereabouts.* 

At the present time there are still a few of the 
Orang Laut to be found in the island of Singapore. 

Amongst other branches of the same race one or 
two may be mentioned as having been described by 
various writers. Such are the Beduanda Kallang * of the 
Pulai river in Johor. These folk formerly haunted the 
^* Kallang " creek to the east of the town of Singapore, 
but when the island was ceded to the British they 
were removed by the Temenggong (or raja) of 
Johor to the Pulai river in that state, where they have 
since dwelt. From about 100 families they have 
been reduced by the ravages of small-pox to eight. 
They were, beyond a doubt, very closely allied to the 
Orang Sletar of Singapore, as well as to the Orang 
Laut who formerly inhabited the Singapore river, and 
the few survivors now living in the island. 

The Orang " Muka Kuning," also described by 

1 /. /. A, vol. L p. 342* (1847). bimbangs, Muka Kunings, and Bidu- 

2 /. H, A. 5"., S,B, No. 10, p. 285. anda8,"thensettlednear Cape Romania, 
^ Crawford, DescDici,^ s.v, "Singa- at the mouth of the Johor river. 

pore.'* Borie (1861) mentions the ** Sa- * /, I, A, vol. i. p. 299 (Logan). 


the same writer, inhabit the forests on the banks of 
the Sa-raya and its tributary the Muka Kuning. 

Pulau Tinggi, off the east coast of Johor, was a 
favourite lurking-place for the Orang Laut in the days 
when they practised piracy. 

We may conclude then that the almost innumer- 
able creeks, inlets, and islands lying along the coast 
of Johor and to the south of it, as far as Billiton at any 
rate, are — or perhaps it is necessary to say were — 
peopled by wild men of Malayan origin, who spent 
most of their time on the water, and that almost every 
community of these people was called by a different 
name, the name of the locality that it occupied for the 
time being. 

And finally we are told by Anderson that in the 
upper coasts of the Malay Peninsula, from " Poongha " 
to Trang (in the neighbourhood of Junk Ceylon), in- 
cluding a coast of 16 or 18 leagues and a number of 
islands, there were no inhabitants except the Orang 
Laut who navigated from island to island.^ 

Race-Characters of the Orang Laut. 

The physical characters of members of this race 
have been described by Logan ^ and Thomson.* 

The former gives an account of three men of the 
Beduanda Kallang. The chief features of the face 
appear to be the great width of the forehead, which is 
at the same time unusually low, the absence of prog- 
nathism, and the thinness of the lips. The face is flat 
and the eye-brows horizontal. The general character 
of the face is between that of the Malay and Siamese, 

1 Appu to Anderson's Cansideraiions^ " Cellates *' or *♦ Men of the Straits." 
p. liv. (1824). The O. Laut are first ^ J, I. A, vol. i. p. 301 seq, 

mentioDedliyDeBarros, who calls them ' lb. p. 347*. 


but perhaps nearer the latter. The features of Saweng 
and Sango (two of the men described) had a pinched 
or compressed look. He had never seen any men 
who resembled them. The Orang Sletar are closely 
allied to the Beduanda Kallang (both indeed appear to 
be branches of one tribe, the aborigines of Singapore). 

In the same paper the height of three individuals 
of the Beduanda Kallang is given as respectively 5 ft., 
5 ft. 4 J in., 5 ft. 5 in.^ Other measurements of interest 
are — circumference of the head, average 2 1 in. ; height 
of forehead, 2 in. ; breadth of forehead, 5^ in.* 

Thomson,* remarking on the physical characters 
of the Sletar tribe, says that they are closely allied 
to the Beduanda Kallang. This, coupled with the 
fact that the Sletar and Kallang are both creeks of the 
island of Singapore, the original locality of each, and 
that sampans (canoes) can approach the navigable 
part of either creek within two miles, there need 
not be any hesitation in proclaiming their identity 
of origin, although they now live as separate 
tribes. The most distinctive features of these tribes 
are the lowness of the brow, retreating back- 
wards from the superciliary ridge; a protrusion of 
the lower part of the face, not in the manner of 
prognathous tribes, but by the acuteness of the facial 
angle. When viewed from the front they are found 
to possess an obliquity of eyes and eyebrows, the 
eyelids being much closed and only showing half the 
pupil. The general contour of the face obtains a 
decided character by great breadth of forehead, ex- 
pansion of zygoma, and rapid tapering to the chin, 
which is lengthy and narrow. The nose is depressed 
and mouth moderate. Such may be considered the 

> 1.523 m., 1.638 m., 1.657 m. * 532 mm., 5 cm., 13 cm. * Loc, cit. 

Group of Jakcn (Abokiginal Malayans) irom Klang 

#>/. /. /. 90. 


Orang Laut of Kai.ang. Singapore. 

A*. //. Yaf^p, 
Okang Laut of Kai.ang, Singapore. 

A'. //. >Vi/A 
Orang Laut of Kalang, Si.ngapore. 

"^4 ' \ \ a 

A". //. ) ■«/.-> (AMva/ Exp<(iitioH). 

Orang Laut of Kalan(;, Singapore. 

Vol. I. p. 91. 


distinctive features of the race, though many were 
seen possessing the Malayan type strongly marked.* 
In a previous passage Thomson states that in his 
own opinion this tribe of Orang Laut may be 
said, with litde fear of contradiction, to be merely un- 
converted Malays in the general acceptation of the 
term, though a distinct class from the Malays properly 
so called who poured their hordes over the Archi- 
pelago {sic ?) * prior to 1 200 of the Christian era, from 
the great river Malayu (** Malayoo "), in Sumatra. 
While all the tribes of Malays on the coast of the 
Malayan Peninsula and adjoining islands have em- 
braced the tenets of Mahomet, they have remained 
unaffected by the movement. 

Taking into consideration Logan's view as to the 
*' Tartar " characters of the Jakun quoted above in 
dealing with that race, and the close relationship 
existing between the Jakun and the Orang Laut,' it 
seems safe to conclude that both are branches of a 
Mongoloid stock which probably inhabited the Penin- 
sula before the irruption of the more civilised Malays, 
who in this case are to be r^arded as a specialised 
branch of the same stock. 

A distinguishing feature of the Orang Laut appears 
to be their height, which is about 5 ft. 3 in.* on an 
average, to judge from the scanty measurements avail- 
able. That of the Besisi and Blandas appears to be 
about 5 ft I in.* according to Dr. Martin's statement 
But an extensive series of measurements is necessary 
before it is justifiable to make a definite statement on 
the subject I venture, however, to suggest that the 

* Thomson, loc, ai, 5, p. 325 ; also Crawfiird, Descr, Diet, 

' The interrogation is mine. under ** Benua." 
' See Newbold, ii. 410, 411, 413, ^ 1.6 m. 

4r4;andSkeat,/./?.^.5.,5.^., No. * 1.548 m. 


greater height of the Orang Laut may depend, at any 
rate, partly on the smaller amount of intermixture with 
Semang (and Sakai) tribes. The more inland Jakun 
of Johor and Selangor sometimes show considerable 
traces of a Negrito strain. Had this been noticeably 
present in the Orang Laut, I think Logan and 
Thomson and other good observers would have 
noticed it, especially if it had affected the hair.^ 

It is impossible to form an estimate of the number 
of Orang Laut existing at the present time. Certain 
it is that the number is much less than it was a century 
ago, largely owing, no doubt, to the ravages of small- 
pox as well as to their conversion to Islam and con- 
sequent absorption among the Malays. 


The children of the Orang Laut very soon become tired on land, and walk 
with legs bent outwards ; the half-breeds are straighter and strcmger. 

The adult Orang Laut soon becomes tired in walking, and the walk of the 
entire race is, in fact, very clumsy on the land, because they squat down so much 
together in their little boats ; they can, in fact, be recognised at once from this 


The Orang Laut climb well, when obliged to do so. As the trees on the 
coast are usually of small circumference, they can clasp the roimd trunk more 
than half-way round with their arms, and use the inside of the foot in climbing up. 
They do not appear to be acquainted with the idea of climbing by help of a rope 
or noose. If, therefore, they wish to climb a larger tree, which they cannot 
climb up by the help of the arms and legs alone, they are obliged to make a ladder. 
For this purpose bamboo p^p are driven into the tree one above the other, at 
distances of about two feet. To the ends of these pegs a bamboo pole is lashed 
so that it stands out from the tree about six inches. By means of these pegs, 
which serve in place of the rungs of a ladder, the man climbs up, and as he 
climbs drives fresh pegs into the tree above those already driven ; when he has 
reached the end of the first pole, he fastens a second pole to the tree in con- 
tinuation of the first, and so on till he reaches the branches. Bark-fibre is used for 
lashings, and the ladder thus constructed is left in its place till it falls to pieces.' 


The Orang Laut are very sure and strong throwers, and fax excel all the 
other tribes in this respect They are, for instance, very clever at throwing the 

^ There are, however, to be seen though there are straight-haired ones 
curly-haired Orang Laut bojrs in Singa- as well, 
pore. In fact they are fairly common, * Z./. E, xxix. 194. ' lb. p. 198. 


shells of flat bivalyes C'Muschel"), such as that of the pearl oyster. They 
hold it at the edge between one finger and the thumb, so that the shell lies 
back flat over the wrist, and jerk it at a crab or a bird upon the sands, striking 
their ta^et with the s^rp edge. A lump of hard coral with a natural hole, 
through which a line woven from willows is threaded, and bound into the form of 
a ring, is thrown by help of this line with great force and certainty of aim at 
crabs on the shore, and so forth. ^ 

Summary of Jakun Culture.* 

The Jakun, no less than the Semang and Sakai, 
are largely nomadic tribes, and though the Land Jakun 
for the most part practise some form of agriculture, 
they also live to a great extent by hunting, trapping, 
and fishing, and keep both dogs and fowls. 

Some of the Jakun of Johor cultivate rice, others 
plant yams, plantains, water-melons, sugar-cane, and 
sometimes also, on a very small scale, tobacco. In 
particular, however, they plant durian trees, on which 
they set a high value on account of the fruit.' The 
Mantra and Besisi hold a marriage-carnival at harvest- 
time.* They smoke tobacco and chew betel, or, as a 
substitute, cassia- leaves, together with gambir and 
lime, which they obtain by barter from the Malays 
of the coast.* Their clothing is like that of the 
Malays but scantier, that of the men only a linen 
apron {e.g. among the Mantra and Udai), that of the 
women a sarong.* They are accustomed to file their 
teeth to a point ; they do not practise circumcision, 
but a form of incision has been recorded.^ The 
universal weapon of the northern Jakun (Besisi, 
Mantra, and others) is the blowpipe with poisoned 
arrows. Bows and arrows are known to them, but 

» Z./. E. xxix. (V.-St.) 200. 5 Logan in /. /. A, i. 254, 255 ; 

' This account is re-written from the Favre, ib, ii. 259. 

summary of Benua Culture by Waitz ^ Logan, loc. cit, p. 260. 

(who uses Benua as the eqtiivalent of ^ Logan, loc» cit. ; Newbold, ii. 406. 

" Savage Malay," in which sense * Logan, loc. cit. p. 252. 

Jakun is used here). ^ lb, p. 271. 


are not employed ; they do not engage in tribal 
fights.^ The blowpipe is often fitted with a spear- 
point at the muzzle, as is frequently the case among 
the Dayaks. That of the Sabimba is said to have 
been introduced to them from Sambas in Borneo by 
the Malays of the sea- board, from whom they also 
obtain other objects, especially rice.^ The ten-foot 
blowpipe of the Benua, and the preparation of their 
arrow-poison, has been described by Newbold.^ The 
Jakun, who do not invariably poison their arrows, carry 
spears and long knives ^ in addition to the blowpipe ; 
the Mantra use the sword and kris of the Malays, 
as well as the blowpipe and spear.* The huts of 
the Benua- Jakun vary in point of size and fittings ; 
they have usually only one room in the centre, are 
built on piles, and are reached by means of a ladder ; 
many of them are not altogether without such com- 
forts as Chinese curtains for dividing the rooms, and 
perhaps a few Chinese dishes ; • for the most part, 
however, they are but poorly built and furnished, the 
sides being only constructed of leaves or tree -bark, 
and they are forsaken by the inhabitants when a 
death occurs.^ The Jakun of Malacca build their 
huts only two feet high, four feet broad, and six feet 
long, but raise them on piles and surround them with 
a bulwark of thorns for protection against tigers.* For 
river voyages (with the exception of the Sabimba) 
they employ boats constructed out of a hollow tree- 
trunk, but they do not venture on the open sea, which 
they are said to dread.® Of musical instruments the 

1 Logan, i. 272, 273, iii. 405, 406, • lb, p. 253, 254. 

iv. 429. ' Newbold, ii. 404 ; Bone in 

« Thomson in/. /. A, i. 337* 338*. Tijdschr. Deel x. 420 ; Netscher, ib. 

* "• 395> 396. Deel it 138 ; Moor, 242. 

* Favre in/. /. A, ii. 262. * Favre, loc, eit. 257. 

* Logan, i. 330. » Logan in J, I, A, i. 271, 284, 


Mantra employ a bamboo flute and a kind of guitar,^ 
though others are recorded. From their position it 
follows that all the trade of the Jakun is in the hands of 
the Malays, who give them cloth, pots, dishes, ironware, 
etc., in exchange for jungle produce, but who at the 
same time greatly oppress them by means of the debts 
into which they lead them, as well as by their treacher)^ 
and unjust dealing,* this treatment being in direct 
contrast to that which they receive from the Chinese." 

At their tribal feasts they chant songs and perform 
mimetic dances in imitation of the various denizens of 
the jungle, the performer, who is dressed in leaves, 
carrying a peculiar dance- wand, and the performances 
themselves being apparently a form of productive 
magic They have a more advanced social organisa- 
tion than the Sakai and Semang, and in some cases 
their Batin or chief has a peculiar and unknown object 
as part of his regalia. 

They also practise peculiar marriage and burial 
rites (e.g. the mound-ceremony, a species of marriage- 
carnival at harvest-time, and the erection of a miniature 
hut for the soul of the deceased), and have many 
magic ceremonies and traditions which point to the 
prevalence of ancestor - worship and Shamanism as 
ingredients in their religion. 

297» 332 ; Thomson, ibid. 347* ; cp. men " for pirates, or in some similar 

a^ Logan in J. I, A. voL L p. 388, motive. But these Benua may have 

where he remarks that *< like the been Land Jakmi after all. 

northern tribes, the Benua have a ^ Borie, loc. cit. p. 424. 

great dread of the sea," a characteristic ' Logan, loc. cit. pp. 261, 285. 

which he attributes to ''exaggerated ' Waits, pp. 176, 177. As Col. 

ideas respecting waves, sea -sickness, R. C. Temple points out, what such 

and pirates." On this it may be re- tribes get by barter may be of >'alue to 

marked that it is hard to believe that themselves ; what they give is of none, 

any true Sea Jakun really dread the sea, But though the bargaining of the 

and that formerly when they professed Chinese may perhaps thus be defended, 

themselves afraid of it, the reason might that of the Mala]^, who go far beyond 

perhaps be sought in a fear of their the Chinese, can not. — Temple in 

being themselves taken by the ** white /. A. I. vol. xxix. p. loi. 

Note by W. L. H. Duckworth on " Fasciculi 
Malayenses," Vol. I. 

Messrs. Annandale and Robinson,^ whose expedition 
to the Malay Peninsula followed that of Mr. Skeat 
(of whose party Mr. Annandale was a member), have 
provided abundant data which will yield much in- 
formation when fully worked out. At present the 
chief results that have come to hand appear to me 
to be the following. Firstly, as regards the living 
inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula, we are presented 
with observations whence the average colour of skin 
and eyes, the hair- characters, the stature, and the 
cephalic index of Semang, Sakai, people of the 
Trang coast, and South Perak Malays are obtainable, 
founded on a much broader basis than has hitherto 
been accessible. As regards the South Perak Malays, 
the data are probably entirely new. The foregoing 
results have been tabulated in the Appendix* (i) for 
purposes of general comparison in the comparative table, 
and (2) separately for purposes of comparison inter se. 
In the second place, the craniological collection 
comprises some extraordinarily valuable specimens, 
though unfortunately the number is not very large. 
Special mention must be made of the collection of 
skulls of the Orang Laut formed by Mr. Annandale. 
The appended table ^ gives concisely the results of the 

* Ax\i\iOxs oi Fasciculi Malay en ses. * For thb table see Appendix. ' /^, 



craniometrical study of these. It will be noted that 
the Orang Laut and Orang Bukit, although separated 
by Mr. Annandale, are yet closely associated physically. 
When the general results of the expedition are reviewed, 
it becomes evident, in the first place, that the Semang 
and the Sakai types are connected by transitional 
forms so numerous that it is only from the examination 
of very large numbers of individuals that the two 
extreme forms can be differentiated It is particu- 
larly to be noted that the cephalic index fails con- 
spicuously to differentiate the two, whereas the stature 
is a more reliable characteristic, and it is from this, 
with the skin-colour and hair-characters, that evidence 
upon which the distinction is based is to be obtained. 
In the second place, the Samsams of the Trang coast 
(as is also the case with the South Perak Malays) 
stand, as indeed might have been expected, quite apart 
from the Semang and Sakai. Thirdly, as regards the 
results of the Skeat expedition, the characters of the 
Pangans measured by Messrs. Skeat and Laidlaw fall 
within the range of variation established by the more 
numerous observations in the Fasciculi Malayenses. 
When we turn to the craniological side we find that 
the Pangan skull provided by Mr. Skeat possesses 
characters which bring it also into line with the 
Semang and Sakai group of Messrs. Annandale and 
Robinson in everything except cranial capacity, which 
in the former example is greater than in any case 
observed by the authors of Fctsciculi Malayenses. 

Then comes the extraordinary case of Grubauer's 
Semang skull* This, although microcephalic, provides 
the unusually high cephalic index-figure of 85, which 
carries it far beyond the range of indices otherwise 

1 Cf. Man, No. 18, 1903. 


available for comparison. This unusual index need not 
be regarded as ruling out the skull from the ranks of 
the Semang-Sakai group, as the total number of skulls 
known is but fifteen or so, and in the living the index 
may, as is seen from the table, reach the figure of 85.5 
(=.83.5 on the skull). 

Three more remarks may be made on the results 
of the authors of the Fasciculi Malayenses. 

In the first place, they have obtained extraordinarily 
high figures for the radio-humeral index in the living 
Semang: results which do not accord with those 
obtained from the data of the Skeat expedition (whether 
from living Pangan or Semang or skeletons of the 
same), nor with Messrs. Annandale and Robinson's 
own results in the case of the skeletons collected by 
them. This is evidently due to their method of 
measurement, for their results for the living Semang 
are consistent throughout inter se. But the final effect 
is to give an incorrect idea of the preponderance of 
forearm lengdi, which, though present* is not nearly so 
marked as the figures suggest. 

Secondly, and regarding the craniological results 
detailed in the Fasciculi McUayenses^ the skulls repre- 
sented in photographs afford but slight material for 
comparisons, partly owing to the fact that two of them 
are skulls of aged women. The Semang skull, Plate 
xvl Figs. 4, 5, 6, has a much flatter nasal skeleton 
than that of the Pangan in the Cambridge Museum ; 
and also presents less subnasal prognathism than the 
latter skuU. 

Finally, Plate xviil Figs. 4, 5, 6, gives photo- 
graphs of the skull of an ''Orang Laut Kapir" {i.€. 
•* Kafir " or " unconverted " Orang Laut) of the 
Trang coast : were the provenance of this specimen 


not precisely known, its dimensions, as given in the 
table, and its proportions and appearance would lead 
to its being regarded as a good example of the Oceanic- 
negro type as met with in New Guinea, New Britain, 
and neighbouring islands. Caution must therefore be 
exercised in basing conclusions on skulls taken from 
ancient cemeteries of the kind whence this skull was 

Note on Diseases of the Aborigines. 

Very litde has been observed about the diseases to 
which the wild aboriginal tribes are subject, and on the 
whole it appears that they are not much troubled by 
sickness, the reason being doubtless that as they live in 
a state of nature only the hardiest of their children 
survive. All of them are, however, in mortal terror 
of one disease in particular, viz. small-pox, from which 
many of their tribes have greatly suffered from time 
to time. 

I. — Semang. 

Fever does not appear to trouble the Semang 
so much as a malignant sort of ulcers and various 
minor forms of cutaneous disease (Mai. "kurap") 
which are very prevalent locally. The wife of the 
Semang chief (Pelima) at Siong was afflicted with 
an ulcer which was one of the worst I have seen in 
the East, and which had eaten deeply into the left leg. 

Both Semang and Sakai are generally well formed, 
and are not unfrequently described as showing a 
magnificent physique. Deformed people and dwarfs 
are extremely rare, probably for the reason already 
given. One of the Semang (Pa' Gelugor) whom I 
observed at J arum may, however, have approximated 
to a dwarf type, all of his measurements proving to be 
under the average. On the other hand, his back was 



slightly bowed, but as he had arrived at an advanced 
age, this is perhaps more likely to have been due to 
physical infirmity than to congenital deformity. 

Some form of acute rheumatism, or more probably 
sciatica, appears occasionally to attack them, as 
in the case of a woman belonging to the Kedah 
Semang, of whose temporary "cure" I myself was 
witness.' From the woman's own account, the pain, 
which was extremely acute and caused her great 
suffering, was situated in the bones of the leg. The 
pain caused her to break out openly into weeping 
and loud crying, but nevertheless she was able to 
make her way into the forest for some thirty yards 
till she reached the site of her former house, in which 
she was presently " doctored " by the chief of the tribe. 

The teeth of the Semang, like those of most other 
savages on a similar plane of culture, were extremely 
good, and were seldom attacked by caries. 

Delivery, as a rule, was attended by very little 
difficulty, the woman usually resuming her ordinary 
avocations after three or four days' seclusion. 

It could not be determined what sickness was 
meant by a ** great death" or plague that was 
traditionary among the Semang, but the symptoms 
were described to Vaughan-Stevens as follows : those 
who were attacked by the disease about noon, died 
before sunset, by which time the body had turned 
black in colour. It was evidently also much swollen 
up, since it was described by the Semang as looking 
" like a leech, when it falls off." 

That the Semang ("Menik") had no name for 
the disease seems to show that it was formerly 
unknown to them, and that they had no other tradi- 

* Cp. vol. ii. p. 230. 


tion about it than that **it had only come twice." 
The only thing that could be found out about it, 
besides, was that nobody attacked by it escaped with 
his life. It was further stated that it had arisen in 
consequence of the neglect of Pie's command never 
to stay more than five days in one place. This 
command, however, only applied to the men.^ 

Vaughan-Stevens gives Semang names for many 
other diseases, but in almost every case fails to 
translate or identify them. 

1 1. — Sakai. 

The foregoing remarks appear to be as applicable, 
generally speaking, to the Sakai as to the Semang. 
At all events, the Sakai have the same dread of small- 
pox and the same liability to ulcers and skin diseases, 
of which latter Hale (p. 288) distinguishes three kinds 
(**Kurap," "Kurap ayam," and '*Kudis"), the pre- 
valence of which he ascribes to the fact that the Sakai 
** very seldom bathe. "^ He also mentions' headache 
and stomach-ache as being diseases which are prayed 
against by the Sakai. De Morgan (ii. 717) mentions 
fevers (which are cured by the use of crushed 
'* langsat " stones), colic, diarrhoea (for which calcined 
bones are used), dysentery, "kurab," and "wounds," 
which latter are dressed with sugar-cane pulp, bound 
with a strip of bark-cloth, 

III. — Jakun. 

Blandas. — There are no very special remarks to be 
made with r^^rd to the diseases of the Blandas 
tribe. Some individuals suffered greatly both from 

^ 5m: Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 102. iL 717 ; Bran de Saint -Pol Lias, 

' The two latter are ringworm and and other writers, 
itch. Cp. De Morgan in VHommt^ ^ Hale, p. 301. 



cutaneous disorders and ulcers, but this was probably, 
as with the Semang and Sakai, the result of the food 
that they lived on, more especially of some of the 
yams and roots. Fevers were also very prevalent at 
certain seasons, but small-pox was the one disease that 
they most greatly dreaded, and on the appearance of 
which they would flee from the district 

Besisi. — Owing to their way of life, it was not 
uncommon to meet amongst them individuals who had 
been accidentally maimed or wounded, and on one 
occasion, whilst driving along the Langat road at Klang, 
I encountered a Jakun who had been badly lamed by 
the injury and contraction of the muscles of the knee. 
After considerable persuasion, I induced him to return 
to Klang and enter the hospital, which was then 
in charge of the late Mr. W. M. Little. Mr. Little 
kindly interested himself in the case, and succeeded in 
affording the man a good deal of relief; but when the 
man had been a few days in hospital he returned to 
the jungle, saying before he left that he could not live 
in a place which was so shut in and devoid of trees. 
\ never knew a case of mental disease among any 
of these tribes. 

Jakim of Negri Sembilan. — The chief diseases are 
more or less malignant kinds of skin*disease — in part 
inherited, in part brought on themselves, for the 
hillmen of Negri Sembilan never indulge in the 
luxury of a bath. 

They do not appear to possess much stamina for 
resisting fever and other internal ailments. When 
they had been living in the house assigned to them by 
Rowland for a short time, they became dissatisfied, and 
all developed a dry, painful cough, and moved about 
very despondingly ; scarcely an hour passed without 


one of them coming to Rowland and saying that he 
was about to die, until at last Rowland had huts built 
for them after their own manner, when they at once 
recovered. Rowland adds that he heard nothing of 
mental diseases among them, though there are many 
such among the Malays.^ 

Jakun of Johop. — The Jakun were not much 
subject to sickness ; though none the less, for want of 
proper care, few of them reach to an advanced age. 
The sickness of which they have the greatest dread, and 
from which they suffer most, is the small-pox. If any 
one is attacked by it, he is at once entirely abandoned ; 
parents, relations, friends, and neighbours all fly from 
him alike, and the poor sick man, left without any 
assistance, of course dies miserably. In the case of 
other diseases, the sick are not so entirely uncared for ; 
some sort of physic, which consists ordinarily of an 
infusion or decoction of wild plants, being given 
according to the rude prescription of a Pawang, 
though usually without any success. The Jakun die 
for the most part of fever caused by the dampness 
and insalubrity of the places they inhabit.^ 

Like the people of India, they are also generally 
very subject to ulcers. Many of them have very 
troublesome skin diseases, though as a rule these are 
not dangerous. If the missionaries succeed in 
gathering the Jakun into villages, as they intend to 
do, and to make their habitations more salubrious, 
ulcers will certainly be much more scarce amongst 
them; and it may be hoped that the cure of their 
skin diseases will not present any great difficulty. 
A small provision of quinine or other remedies 

* Rowland, p. 707. 
* Favre iny. /. A, vol. ii. p. 265. 


for fever would also doubtless preserve the life of 

Benua-Jalnm. — Of the Benua of Johor we are told 
that, like all these tribes, they have an excessive fear of 
the small'pox. The explanation they give of this is that 
in former times their tribe was severely visited, and 
greatly thinned, by it, and that a vow was then made 
that they and their descendants in all time to come 
should flee from its presence whenever and wherever 
it appeared. If it should again break out, they would 
necessarily abandon both the victim and the locality.* 

The Benua of the Lenggiu and Sayong are said to 
close their rivers by felling trees across them whenever 
they hear that this disease prevails at Johor Lama 
{ji.e. "Old Johor") or elsewhere in the country. 
Vaccination would prove a great boon.* 

Orang Laut or Sea-Jakun. 

0. Laut, BeduandaKallang. — The Beduanda Kallang 
of Singapore formerly consisted of about a hundred 
families occupying as many boats, but the ravages 
of the small-pox have reduced the number to eight.* 

0. Laut, Sletar. — Several of the men and women of 
the Sletar tribe were subject to deformity in hands 
and limbs, a rather unusual circumstance for these 
parts, and the disease most prevalent among them 
was a cutaneous scaly eruption (Mai. ** Kurap ") that 
covered the whole body. To this disease whole 
families were subject, from the mother to the infant at 
the breast, nearly every second person appearing to be 
afflicted with it The feet of the old people were also 

> Favre in/. /. A, vol ii. p. 265. * Ih, 

* y. /. A, voL L p. 284. * lb, p. 300. 


attacked by a sort of disease resembling leprosy, and 
the features of the face in one or two cases were found 
to be contracted from some such cause/ its victims 
being naturally rendered hideous to look upon.* 

^ From the description this might be suffered from a disease of the skin of 

attributed to some disease of syphilitic the feet and hands, named "Kedal," 

origin, which is not impossible, seeing which had, however, no affinity with 

the propinquity of the Sletar to Singa- leprosy properly so called, 
pore. On the other hand, it may be ^ J* I A. vol. i. p. 345*. 

remarked that the Malays themselves 




Food— Stimulants — Narcotics. 

Although food is always (naturally) a burning ques- 
tion among the wild tribes that are still nomadic, it 
apparently becomes, strange as it may seem, of even 
greater importance among those that are just entering 
the path of civilisation, who are frequently rendered, to 
a pitiable extent, dependent upon the Malays for their 
very existence, a circumstance which the latter are not 
slow to turn to their own advantage. The wildest 
tribes, who are thoroughgoing nomads, seldom stay 
more than three or four days in one place, but as 
soon as they have exhausted the sources of food in 
one neighbourhood, move on to the next, and hence 
are as a rule fairly, though not liberally, supplied. 

The staple food of these tribes does not consist so 
much of the flesh of animals as of such wild vegetable 
food as may happen to faU from time to time in season. 
When this fails, the men engage in hunting, trap- 
ping, and fishing excursions in order to eke out 
their dwindling stock of vegetable supplies, which 
consist mainly of wild yams,^ roots, and fruits of the 

The less wild tribes who have learnt the use of 

^ According to H. N. Ridley the of the wild tribes is Dioscarea penta' 
yam most sought after by all branches phylla. 



rice are forced to obtain their supplies of it by the 
barter of jungle produce at ruinous rates, as they 
seldom succeed in obtaining a crop of their own which 
will last for more than a small portion of the year. 

As will readily be expected, not only the knife and 
fork of civilisation, but even such objects as chop- 
sticks, are completely unknown^ the flesh of the animal 
which has been killed being broken up into pieces of 
convenient size, which are picked up from the dish 
(which often consists of nothing more elaborate than 
a large banana-leaf obtained from the neighbouring 
forest) and conveyed to the mouth by hand* In the 
case of a leg or wing of a small mammal or bird the 
bone is held in the hand in primitive fashion, and the 
flesh gnawed off" it sans cdrimonie and sansgine. For 
drinking purposes bamboo vessels, gourds, and coco* 
nut-shells are used, though a mere leaf, or the hand 
Itself, are used at convenience. 

In eating, the women and girls of all three wild 
races wait until the men have finished. 

For drinking purposes the " tamer " tribes generally 
keep in their huts earthenware water-pots> for which a 
half coconut-$heU is, as among the Malays, the most 
generally accepted ** bailer." In drinking from running 
water, however, the water is thrown into the mouth 
by hand, unless a big leaf happens to be available. 

In this connexion it may be of interest to 
note a statement to the eflect that the Orang Laut, 
when they wished to drink, threw the water up into 
the mouth with the hand with unerring aim, and 
instead of splashing the entire face (as a European 
would), they were able to throw water into the mouth 
at about the distance of a foot from the palm of the 
hand without wetting their faces to speak of. Even 


the children employed this method. On the other 
hand, when a mother wished to give her infant some 
water to drink, she let it drip from her hand into the 
child's open mouth.^ 

With regard to rice, the wildest tribes of the 
Peninsula (Pangan, etc.) do not eat it, although it is 
the staple food of the Malays and all the later im- 
migrants to the country. 

The first step towards the adoption of a grain diet 
would seem to be taken when the wild people take 
to cultivating and eating a species of millet ('' sSkoi '')} 

For this, at a later period, a more or less scanty 
diet of rice (obtained from the Malays by barter) is 
gradually substituted by the less nomadic tribes 
(generally by tribes who have learned to grow a few 
light ''catch" crops, in which rice is not included), 
and eventually we find the first beginnings of rice 
culture among tribes who cultivate for themselves not 
only bananas, maize, tapioca (and in a few cases even 
tokicco), but also a scanty stock of half-wild rice. 

The wilder tribes of Semang and Sakai, and even 
perhaps a few of the Jakuns, practise methods of 
obtaining fire by friction. The Malayising tribes 
appear, however, for a long time past to have known 
the use of flint and steel, which is periiaps the method 
still most generally in vogue. A few of the more 
advanced have, however, learnt the use of ** trade" 
matches, which they call by their Malay names 
("tarek api "-pull-fire, or "gesek api "-scratch-fire). 
The tinder used consists of the downy substance or fluff 
which collects round the leaf-bases of certain palms.* 

' Z.f. E, xxix. 184. > It is chiefly obtained from Caryota 

' De Ut Croix, p. 340. It is Pemicum mitts. Lour.— Ridley. 
Hiiiicum, — Ridley. 


This fluff is also used as a kind of wad to prevent 
windage in shooting with the blowpipe. 

A simple form of torch, consisting of lumps of 
** dammar" (Mai. **damar") wrapped round with palm- 
leaves and tied with vegetable fibres, is also pretty 
generally employed. 

Among the Semang, cooking is the duty of the 
women, and among the more nomadic tribes usually 
consists in slightly roasting the flesh of the small 
mammals and birds killed by the men, though it is 
certain that, in some cases at all events, the definition 
of man as a " cooking animal " breaks down, for the 
meat is eaten absolutely raw. Flesh-meat is inserted 
in a cleft stick, which is made to lean at an angle over 
the fire. Rice, if obtainable, is fire-dried in green 
bamboos, which are carried about and broken open as 
circumstances may require. Yams and roots are grated 
and wrapped up in strips of banana-leaf for baking. 
Fish are usually baked in the same way as the flesh of 
birds and animals. 

The methods of the Sakai are very similar, and 
both they and the Semang have several ingenious 
methods of treating poisonous yams, etc., in order to 
make them fit for consumption. 

Among the Jakun of the coast, and to some extent 
among the inland Sakai and Semang, iron cooking 
utensils (Malay rice-pots, etc.) have been introduced, 
and with these the difficulties of cooking largely dis- 

I. — Semang. 

Food and its Preparation. 

Kedah Semang. — The food of the Western Semang, 
when I visited them in Kedah, consisted -of rice eked 


out with a little sugar-cane, both of which were cultivated 
by themselves, together with a little tapioca and the 
wild roots and fruits of the jungle. Their flesh-food 
consisted of small birds and animals, but more often of 
fish and turtle, etc., which they caught or harpooned 
in the river at the foot of the hill. A few of these 
Negrito tribes still hunt with the bow, but the blow- 
pipe has also made some converts, especially towards 
the south. They are unfettered by religious re- 
strictions in their search for food,^ and are averse to 
nothing which can be converted into a means of 
sustenance. We often encountered the holes made by 
them in digging for roots in the deepest recesses of 
the forest. 

Pangan. — The food of the Eastern Semang (Pan- 
gan) does not differ from that of their western kindred. 
In a small rock-shelter which I visited in the hills 
of Patalung near Singora, and which was deserted 
by the Pangan just before we got there, we found 
the remains of a fire, the ribs of a small tortoise 
on which they had been feeding, and a half-smoked 
(native) cigarette. In the deserted semicircular 
huts of the Pangans at Ulu Aring, in Kelantan, 
we found the remains of fires, short bamboo vessels 
which had been used for carrying dried rice (''nasi 
iSmang"), and a half coconut-shell, which had, no doubt, 
been used for drinking. These Pangan when in the 
neighbourhood used to come down to the Malay 
hamlet at Kampong Buntal for rice and tobacco. 

Kedah Semang and Pangan. — Fire -making by 
friction is the simplest method practised by both 
Eastern and Western Semang. It usually takes the 
form of rubbing together short blocks of wood, 

* For rules as to eating the <* soul-bird *' (an alleged exception), v. vol ii. pp. 4^. 


114 FOOD PART u 

bamboo, or cane. A common method consists in 
passing a rattan line round the portion of a dried 
branch (that of certain kinds of trees can alone be 
used), and holding the branch down by the foot, whilst 
the line is rapidly worked to and fro with the hands, 
until the friction ignites the dust which falls from the 

The Semang also not unfrequently supply them- 
selves with fragments of flint and tool-iron, which they 
carry about with them. 

They use as tinder the down-like substance or 
fluff which gathers about the leaf-bases of palms, and 
which they also, as has been said, use as a wad in 
shooting with the blowpipe. 

This complete fire apparatus is generally carried 
on the person, not unfrequently in a small bamboo 

Perak Semang. — The same remarks apply to the 
Semang of Perak. De Morgan adds that the bamboo 
tube in which the fire apparatus is carried is often 
beautifully decorated (by incised lines). He also 
states that the Perak Semang obtain their tinder from 
the sugar-palm ^ (" kabong ").* 

Semang and Pangan. — The Semang hearth con- 
sists of a few short logs or sticks, whose ends converge 
to a common centre. They are laid upon a clear spot 
of ground, and the fires are allowed to smoulder away 
gradually, being only **made up" when a bigger fire 
is required for cooking, though they are kept burning 
night and day until the encampment changes its 

Kedah Semang. — Of roots and fruits it is not only 
the innocuous kinds that are employed ; even poison- 

* Arenga saccharifera, — Ridley. * De Morgan, viL 414. 


ous yams and roots are specially treated by the 
Semang to render them fit for food. For this pur- 
pose they are rasped against a prickly stick (a sort of 
natural '* nutmeg grater "),^ the raspings being mixed 
with a little lime (slaked with water in a coconut -shell) 
and worked up with a small spatula of *'bSrtam"* 
palm. Finally they are kneaded by hand into a sort 
of dough, which is wrapped up in a strip of fresh 
banana -leaf, slipped into a cleft stick, and slowly 
roasted over the fire. The yams thus treated 
are called "kleb" by the Semang, and "ubi kapor" 
by the Malays. The Semang informed me they 
were highly poisonous, unless treated as here de- 

I noticed a number of these yams ('* ubi kapor ") in 
the Semang shelter at Siong in Kedah, where they 
were inserted between the slats of the roof. Other 
kinds of yams employed by the tribe in question 
were the *'ubi takob," which is baked; the "ubi 
tanjong," which is boiled ; and *' kensS " or tapioca- 
root, which was no doubt obtained by barter from 
the Malays, as none was grown in the clearing at 

Perak Semang. — The Perak Semang render the 
roots of the wild yam edible by means of prolonged 
fermentation (in the earth ?) and by culinary treat- 
ment extending over six days. 

But the roots of the amorphophallus cannot, it 
appears, be made edible by any sort of treatment, this 
latter plant being regarded as furnishing, when mixed 
with Ipoh, the most deadly kind of poison known to 

* The prickly stem of a kind of (or <'gadong"), [that requires to be 
rattan {CcUiumii), ^ EugMsona tristis, prepared in this way. The other 
' It is only Dioscorea damona, Roxb. species are harmless. — Ridley. 


the tribe, whilst even the contact of the sap with the 
skin produces considerable irritation.^ 


Kedah Semang. — Among the Semang of Kedah the 
women and girls, after cooking the food, were not 
allowed to eat any of it until the men and boys of 
the tribe had finished their repast. At Siong on 
one occasion I photographed a number of Semang 
in the middle of a meal. Their food, which they 
eagerly devoured and obviously enjoyed, consisted 
of a quantity of rice and some small fowls that 
I had brought with me, — a sufficient reply to the 
assertion which has often been made that these tribes 
are afraid to eat the flesh of any domestic creature. 
These materials, after cooking, were deposited in 
separate heaps upon large banana -leaves, and were 
partaken of first by all the males of the tribe sitting 

The women could be seen inside the hut waiting 
quite patiently when their work was done until their 
lords and masters should have finished their repast. 

{Stimulants and Narcotics. 

Kedah Semang. — Betel -chewing appeared to be 
very sparingly indulged in by all the Semang tribes 
that I came across. Occasional instances certainly 
occur, but the custom is certainly very much more 
rarely found among the Semang than among the more 
southern tribes, and their teeth were, as a rule, entirely 

1 De la Croiz (quoting Sir H. I ow), same as that of the Semang of Kedah, 
p. 334. From Mr. L. Wray I learn that with the addition of gourds, pumpkins^ 
in other respects their diet is much the chillies, maixe, and sweet potatoes. 


A. Semang of Kedah rasping yams with prickly 
Stem of young rattan. 

B. Pouring lime upon the raspings preparatory to 
mixing anil cooking. 

Semangs preparing Poisonous Yams for Food. 


Semang ok Kedah n.\jiiNG a Meal. 

Vol. I.f. it6. 


free from the discoloration which necessarily accom- 
panies the custom referred to.^ 

Semang* and Pangan — Perak Semang. — On the other 
hand, both Semang and Pangan (East Semang) are 
(like all the wild tribes of the Peninsula) inordinately 
fond of tobacco. They carry it in a small but beauti- 
fully decorated bamboo tube, a specimen of which I 
obtained in Ulu Kelantan. Some of the more civilised 
tribes are said to grow their own tobacco. Almost 
invariably, however, they obtain it by barter from the 
Malays, as do also the Semang of Perak.^ 

II. — Sakai. 
Food and its Preparation. 

Perak SakaL — The wilder Sakai tribes (Sakai 
Bukit), like the Semang, live upon wild tubers, roots, 
and fruits, together with the flesh of animals and birds 
that fall victims to the darts shot from their blowpipe. 
They do not as a rule search for game until every- 
thing else fails.* They will, however, eat almost 
any sort of animal food, and the land tortoise is as 
acceptable to them as to the Karens of Martaban.* 

To both these classes of food must be added, 
among the more settled tribes, the produce of their 
gardens, which includes maize, sugar-cane, tapioca, 
sweet potatoes, yams, rice, and many plants which can 
be cultivated as catch crops. A curious fact recorded 
of them is that they do not make use of salt.* This 

^ Mr. L. Wray tdls me that in * Hale, p. 295 ; see also De U Croix, 

Upper Peiak be saw some Semang- p. 340. 

Stkai (from the Pins) burning fresh- ^ /. /. A. vol iv. p. 430. 

water shells to make lime for their betel. ■ lb. vol. iy. p. 429. To this list 

< /. /. A, vol. iv. pp. 425, 426. of plants millet must be added. 


has been contradicted by other writers,^ though it is 
quite possible that salt, owing to the difficulty of 
obtaining it, may not be used by some of the wilder 
tribes, who fear the risks attendant upon barter. The 
young growing shoots of the giant bamboo ("buluh 
bfitong ") are eaten both cooked and raw.^ 

According to M. Lias, the food of the Perak Sakai 
consists mainly of tapioca-root, yams, sweet potatoes, 
maize, bananas, poultry, eggs, fish, and game killed 
by the blowpipe. 

**They also," he continues, "eat rats, snakes, 
monkeys . . .," a Malay said to me, laughing. 

But To* LelS denies it. 

"It is not we, the Sakai of KSrbu, who eat that, 
it is the Ulu Burong people."* 

De Morgan says that they eat the shoots of ferns, 
palms, bamboos, pVah-fruit, certain fungi that grow on 
rotten trees, and yams of every description, together 
with tapioca (which has been imported in recent times, 
but the use of which has spread everywhere), sugar- 
cane, maize, gourds, and water-melons, turmeric, 
millet, and (half- wild) bananas which have big seeds 
in them. Kulim leaves are used as seasoning.* 

Both these accounts, curiously enough, omit to 
mention the wild fruits which grow in great profusion 
at certain seasons of the year in the forests of the 
Peninsula. It would be interesting to know whether the 
Sakai are less markedly frugivorous than the Semang 

* L. Wiay, Cave-dwellers^ p. 39. *y. R, A, S,, S, A, No. 21, p. 154. 

Mr. Wray tells me that the food of ' Brau de S. P. Lias, pp. 279, 280. 

the Batang Padang Sakai (and those of * De Morgan, viiL 157 ; cf. 

the Hills between Kinta and Pahang) VHonime^ iu 713. The Sakai are 

agrees with that of the Perak Semang, also said to eat the tuberous roots 

except that millet is substituted for of Smilax megticarpa^ De C. Its 

rice. Frogs and snakes are also eaten, Malay names are ** Akar banau,** 

as well as some insects, e.g,^ the "Rabanu," "Rabana," ** K*luna,"and 

< * Buprestes *' beetles, which are roasted. * * Lampau Bukit. '* — Ridley. 


or Jakun. But there is no reason to think so, and most 
probably, like the others, they will eat anything that is 
not actually poisonous. Thus Mr. L. Wray writes that 
once, in an evil moment, he was induced by assurances 
and example of some of the Sakai to eat some pretty 
apple-like fruit with which a tree growing by the side 
of the river was laden. The fruit, though pleasant at 
first, left a very disagreeable after - taste, and he 
suffered for the remainder of the day with sore mouth 
and lips. It was a species^ of the genus Garcinta, of 
which the " gSlugor " fruit ^ is a well-known and closely 
allied example. 

Mr. Wray first saw, on Gunong Chunam Prah, 
at a height of 3350 feet (1021 m.), a blackberry 
which grows amongst the underwood (** blukar ") on 
the old Sakai clearings ("ladang"). The berry was 
red and long, and had something of the flavour of its 
English ally. The leaf and method of growth were also 
very similar. Raspberries * were common in the same 
situations, but the fruit was small and nearly tasteless.* 

The methods employed by the Sakai for obtaining 
fire are similar to those used by the Negritos. To 
procure fire the hill Sakai (Orang Bukit) rub two dry 
pieces of bamboo together.* 

In Kinta, according to Hale, every Sakai carries a 
tinder-box, which, however, he does not use more 
than he is obliged to do, as the fire of each family is 
always kept smouldering to prevent its extinction.* 

Hale's description of the Sakai hearth deserves 
full quotation. Each family (he writes) and wife . . . 
had a separate hearth. These hearths are very 

* Probably Garcinia Castata^ Hensl. * De la Croix, p. 340. 

> MaL *' gflugor,*' i.e, Garcinia ^ Hale, p. 294. The Batang Padang 

atraoiridis, ' Rubus roscrfolius, Sakai are said to use the fire-drill. — 

^ J.R.A.S,^ S,B,, No. 21, p. 155. Fasc, Mai, 41. 


simple constructions ; a mat of leaves is spread 
on the floor, and over this is spread about three 
inches of earth, and a fire lighted, which once lighted 
is not allowed to got out For although every Sakai 
carries a tinder-box, it is much easier to blow up 
a smouldering log into a blaze than to rekindle it. 
Three or four long logs of suitable wood, each about 
nine inches in diameter, are arranged so that their 
ends approach the middle of the hearth. A small fire 
of sticks is lighted in the centre, and the logs keep the 
fire up for weeks, and as they bum away are drawn 
gradually into the fire. The burning ends serve to 
support the saucepans, and the accumulated ashes 
below to^ roast tapioca and sweet potatoes in. As 
there are always several other logs lying about the 
floor drying so as to be ready for use, it is not very 
easy to get about without knocking one's shins. ^ 

The Sakai generally use earthen cooking vessels, 
but prefer iron ones when they can get them. Like 
the Negritos, they have many ingenious methods 
for the preparation of their food. The wild yam 
and the "kapayang" fruit ^ ("piyung") are cut into 
small pieces, cooked, and laid in running water for 
twenty-four hours to draw the poison out of them.* 

A similar process is employed in the preparation of 
the bitter cassava * {Manihot lUilissima). 

A yet more curious process described by Hale is 
to bury such poisonous tubers for days together in one 
of the swamps in the jungle. After being steeped in 
this way till they are sodden, they are dug up again 
and rasped with a prickly shoot of rattan (already 

^ Hale, p. 294. * SU Vaughan- Stevens (^.), but 

> PangiumeduU. Thehuskofthenut according to Mr. H. N. Ridley the 
is used as a receptacle. — VH, ii. 619. bitter cassava is not cultivated in the 

> Vaoghan-Stevens, it 112. Peninsula! 


described). The raspings are put into a matwork 
bag, and the foul -smelling, unwholesome moisture 
squeezed out of them with a kind of primitive lever. 
They are then dried over the fire in a green bamboo, 
and put aside till required for food.^ 

This preparation is said by Hale to be called 
" koyi " (" koyee *'), and will keep good for a month.* 

The seeds of some trees (such as the " p'rah ") • are 
similarly treated; they are put into a matwork bag 
and buried in swamps sometimes for months together 
before they are touched. Eventually, however, they 
are lifted out of the swamp by means of a cord attached 
to the bag, and are then pounded and squeezed into a 
bamboo, when they are ready for use. The result is 
a highly flavoured kind of preserve called by the 
Malays "sSrum p'rah/* or "pVah paste," which in 
spite of its strong odour is yet greatly prized.* 

The Sakai use rude wooden spice-blocks (" sfing- 
kalan") for grinding their spices. Not unfrequently 
part of a bamboo internode is used for the purpose 
when they are travelling in the jungle. In this way 
they grind up their salt, chillies, and the other season- 
ings • which they eat with their rice, the latter of which 
is boiled in an internode of bamboo.* 


Perak SakaL — Hale says of the Sakai that they 
have only two regular meals, an early morning break- 
fast and a midnight supper, but that they were con- 
tinually having slight snacks of some kind of vegetable 

* Hale, p. 298. ^ De M. Bgures a wooden plate 

^ VS. p. 295. (probably used for this purpose) and a 

^ Afezzettia leptopoda^ Oliver (Ano- bamboo water- vessel. — VH, ii. 619. 
). * Hale, p. 298. « L. Wray, CoDe-dwelUrs^ p. 39. 




food (sugar-cane, tapioca, or sweet potatoes) when 
they happened to be indoors during the daytime/ 

Stimulants and Narcotics, 

Perak Sakai. — Of tobacco and betel the Sakai are 
exceedingly fond, the leaf of a wild betel (** chambai ") * 
being freely taken when no other is obtainable. Both 
of these habits are probably acquired from the Malays, 
from whom a Sakai will also occasionally learn to 
smoke or eat opium.* 

III. — Jakun. 


Blandas. — There is nothing requiring special 
comment about the diet of the Blandas, except that it 
contains less animal food and a larger proportion of 

> Hale, p. 295. 

Vaughan-Stevens states that he had 
often read that the aborigines (Orang 
Hntan) relieve themselves from flatu- 
lence in any way that they please, 
without the least notice being taken of 
it by any of those present, but that this 
habit is condemned and regarded as 
** vulgar." Vaughan - Stevens often 
heard one Sakai reprove another when 
such a breach of decorum was made, 
although men only were present. On 
one occasion an excuse was offered by 
one of those present on behalf of 
his comrade, the offender "looking 
ashamed as he went out." Whenever 
Vaughan - Stevens asked the Sakai 
what was their opinion in such a case, 
they always condemned it very strongly, 
but suggested that it might have 
occurred accidentally and unintention- 
ally, by way of apology. The idea 
that this habit might be regarded (as 
among the Chinese) as a compliment 

to the host cannot be entertained, 
as among the aborigines it would be 
an insult rather than a compliment. 
Accidents of the kind may happen 
from their greedy manner of eating, and 
if the men appear to take no notice, 
it is only because they do not wish to 
attract attention to the mistake which 
has been made (Z./ E, xxix. 184). 

* Mr. Ridley writes me that several 
wild pepper leavesare used as substitutes 
for the betel-leaf. He has seen Selangor 
Sakai near Kuala Lumpor cut off* long 
strips of bark from Piper argenteum^ 
with the object of chewing them. A 
portion only of the bark was taken in 
each case, so that the plant might not 
be killed. 

« L. Wiay, Cave-dwellers^ p. 39. 
Mr. Wray tells me further tluit the 
Batang Padang Sakai grow tobacco, 
drying and cutting but not fermenting 
the leaves, and wrapping the product 
in young ** palas" leaves. 


rice than that of the Semang and Sakai, the Selan- 
gor tribe being rather more advanced in matters of 
cultivation. In Kuala Langat, I have myself fre- 
quently seen the latter at their meals (which I have 
also occasionally shared), when their only food consisted 
of boiled rice, seasoned with acid fruits ('* asam k'lubi " 
^Zalacca confertd) obtained from the jungle. 

Food and its Preparation. 

Besisi. — A favourite kind of preserve not yet 
mentioned consists of a paste obtained from the pulp 
of the durian, which the Besisi bury in the ground for 
months together until long after it has fermented. 

A curious but firmly held belief of the Besisi is 
that acid fruits must not be eaten with the game 
killed by their poisoned darts, as to do so will, they 
imagine, bring out the full symptoms of the poison in 
those who partake of it 

When cooking such game they generally cut 
out the part surrounding the puncture caused by the 

In some of the songs improvised by the Besisi 
the various processes employed in the preparation of 
their game for food are described in detail. The 
game (if an animal) first has its fur removed by 
singeing, when the skin is ** poked" off, and the 
carcase quartered and cooked. 

The seasonings used are "kulim"^ leaves, tur- 
meric, and (wild) ginger, leaves of the *'kayu klat,"^ 

* Sorodocarpus bameensis (Olacinese), • A name applied to many species of 

a large tree, every part of which smells Eugenia of the section *< syzygiam," 
ttioogly of onions. — Ridley. and other trees somewhat resembling 

them (Myrtacese). — Ridley. 


"spices" (the precise kind is not mentioned), and 

Different kinds of seasoning are mentioned in 
other songs, especially various kinds of wild pepper, 
"p€das chanchang"* and "pSdas jintan."* "Asam 
k'lubi"^ is excluded as a seasoning for animals 
killed with the blowpipe, for the reasons stated above. 

The most usual method of making fire among 
all the branches of the Jakun race (including the 
Besisi) is by means of flint and steel. Logan, how- 
ever, mentions a case in which some Jakun produced 
fire by circular friction, exactly as it is sometimes pro- 
duced by civilised Malays.* The steel consists of a 
fragment of tool-iron, and is generally wrapped up 
together with the flint in a piece of cloth and left in 
the hut during short absences of the owner, or carried 
on the person (in his ** bujam " or matwork pouch) 
together with the usual palm-fluff" tinder. 

The commonest type of hearth is the Malay box- 
hearth, which consists of a shallow box filled with 
earth, upon which are usually laid, in a triangle, the 
Malayan firestones, between which a fire of sticks is 
kindled. Fire-logs, such as are used by the inland 
Sakai, are, however, often to be seen. 


BesisL — As in the case of all the wild tribes, the 
Besisi men eat before the women. Morning and 
evening are their special meal- times, but they con- 

^ Probably ss^kisum," Pofygtmum ' Cummin, also used by the Malays 

flaccidum^ Meissn. (Polygonacese), a in making curries. — Ridley, 

common weed, also called *'kalima * The fruit of Zalacca conferta^ 

paya " or ' • swamp " kalima. — Ridley. Griff. 

• Unidentified. */. /. A, vol L p. 255. 


stantly chew sugar-cane, etc., throughout the day, and 
they do not hesitate to accept an extra meal whenever 
the opportunity offers. They gorge, in fact, like 
pythons whenever they get the chance, and are only 
too willing to sleep it off afterwards. It is, however, 
only fair to them to say that they do not often get the 
opportunity of eating to excess, except in the fruit season 
or at harvest-time. They eat monkeys, rats, snakes, 
and even crocodiles. 

One of their more elaborate banquets, at which I 
was present, will be described in detail in a later 

Betel-leaf and Tobacco. 

BesisL — The chewing of the betel-leaf is a favourite 
occupation of the Besisi, who especially affects the 
wild betel-leaf called " chambai " and the bark from the 
stem of a creeper called ** kalong," ^ which is, I was told, 
identical with the stem of the ''chambai." I have 
tasted both, and found that both possessed equally the 
pungent aromatic flavour of the betel-leaf, and left 
behind them a sort of roughness of the palate for at 
least a few minutes after they had been chewed. 
The Besisi are also extremely fond of tobacco, which 
is generally smoked in the form of small cigarettes, 
rolled up in thin coverings of palm-leaf after the Malay 
fashion, but which is also occasionally chewed..^ 

Food and its Preparation. 

Mantra. — Of the Mantra we are told that no kind 
of food comes amiss, so long as it does not " intoxicate " 
or poison them.* 

* Piper caninum, * Skeat uxSeLJoum, vol. v, p. 381. 

' y. /. A, vol. L p. 2S4* 




According to Logan, the Mantra never eat the 
flesh of the elephant.^ The same writer gives a list of 
no fewer than forty different jungle fruits, all of which 
the Mantra are in the habit of eating.^ 

Father Barbe has said that if the flesh of monkeys, 
to which the Mantra are very partial, were not 
prohibited by the Koran, there is no doubt that the 
generality of them would have been converted to 

Meals and Tobacco} 

The Mantra have three meals — morning, mid-day, 
and evening. 

The Mantra women were much addicted to to- 
bacco, but they did not smoke it. 

* Bone (tr. Bourien) says they •* cat 
all that falls into their hands — bears, 
monkeys, squirrels, rats, deer, birds, and 
the roots and bulbs which the earth 
produces in abundance, such as the 
kaledek, or sweet potato ('kledek*); 
fruits such as the banana, and the sugar- 
cane, which serves to satisfy their thirst 
as well as to nourish them. The maize 
and rice which they cultivate can only 
support them four months in the year. 
To cultivate rice on the mountains it 
is necessary to cut down the forest, to 
burn it, and then to sow, which de- 
mands more labour than is required for 
hunting in the forest, where perhaps, 
too, they may find roots or other vege- 
table food. The hunting of monkeys 
and squirrels pleases them more than 
anything else, and they give themselves 
up to it with ardour ; their labour and 
fatigue they count as nothing if they 
can but capture their prey, which they 
distribute part to their parents, part to 
their relations, and part to their friends 
who attend the feast If they are 
joined by no one, they first of all bum 
off {i.e. singe) the hair, and then cut 
up the carcase, and throw the portions 

into a frying-pan to cook them, when 
each person proceeds to devour his 
share silently in the shade" (Borie, 
PP* 76, 77). Later, M. Borie adds, 
the Mantra '*do not give themselves 
the trouble of cutting out that part 
of the flesh which has been pierced by 
the arrow, and which has a slightly 
bluish appearance" (p. 78). This is 
contrary to the usual statements of 
the Besisi, who maintain that the flesh 
surrounding the wound ought always 
to be cut out 

• ** The fruits used are the tampui, 
takaro, lari, kandim, kimok, kledang, 
tampune, kleres, pulasan, rambutan, 
ramnian, lerang, prah, jireh, kingong, 
kadumpal, kumpal, binnong, tangkoi, 
redan, sikrang, ampadil, bangkong, 
puteh, lonah, kamalun, didalin, mang- 
le apas,jangkang, bombong, luen, kamui, 
sop, diittong, sippam, lanjut, kUssa, 
lalam, kimoh, sirlang, rumang."— ^/I /. 
A, vol. L p. 331*. For identifications, 
V. Ridley's Plant-List (/.f.), and other 
parts of this book. 

• Barbe, /. /. A, vol. v. pp. 487, 

*/. /. A. vol. L p. 254, 255. 


Food and its Preparation. 

Benoa-Jakun. — Much of their [the Benua's] food is, 
according to Logan, derived from fishing, snaring, and 
hunting, no sorts of flesh being rejected. The 
ungka, kra, and probably some other species of 
monkeys, are, according to Logan, used by them 
as food, but he believes not frequently so, and 
"although the Malays asserted that snakes were 
eaten," he could find no corroboration of the state- 
ment while amongst the Benua.^ 

According to the same authority, the Benua-Jakun 
tribes of Johor also make use of a considerable 
number of fruits and seeds, which they obtain from the 
forest, and eat either in their raw state or after boiling 
or roasting them. He mentions the names of no less 
than sixty-nine of these trees.* 

In dealing with the subject of fire-making among 
the Benua-Jakun, Logan remarked that the means of 
obtaining a light were so simple that there was no 
occasion to carry fire on their journeys. On his way 

* Logaii,y. R. A,S, No. 7, p. 87. Cp. one with fleshless seeds ; the rambutan, 

Newbold : '*In eating, no dish adorns ther.gading,r.uban,r.kasumba,rambei, 

their table, save occasionally the leaf of duku, two kinds of manggis (mangostin), 

the ' sajak ' tree, and that of the Biro bangke, bidara, tampui, marki, lunko- 

(? Birah) fiimishes their usual drinking- koyo,k]ueng, bokobaka, bahkon, katian, 

cap. A vessel of clay called 'Tarn- chaminoi, rampinoi, saun, kampong, 

nramong ' is applied to the purposes of sundeh, taban, merpadi, kes, garop, 

cooking, differing in shape from that chabet, rameng, palas, gippu, kadun- 

used by Malays. The entrails of wild dong, kulem, ^oi, hukam, tampanoi, 

animals are taken out and the hair p^tai, kerdas, bluru, blatong, malai, 

scraped or singed off before the flesh mindaleng, kapas, ridan, ramampas, 

is boiled. Instead of betel-leaf, they ramun, jila, ujol, k^rabu, pahet, kich- 

often chew the leaf of a tree called ipo, tikaet, kikai, pinjeng, jiring, kika, 

' kassi,* together with the areca-nut and buntol, jilibom, mayong, machang, 

gunbier, but seldom mix them with kachang, kirpol, kawe, pakop, tayo, 

lime. Tobacco, whenever it can be timambun, gungang, dumpa, merliUn, 

had, is used to excess, even by women kansil, pilampi.— y. /. A, vol. L pp. 

and children." — Newbold, ii. 405, 258, 259. For identifications, see 

406 ; cp- y. /. A, vol. i. p. 257. Ridley's Plant-List, and other parts of 

2 Induding several kinds of durian, this book. 


from Pines to the Lenggiu his two guides asked him to 
allow them to go for a little while to a small deserted 
gutta-coUectors (*'taban") hut not far from the path. 
As their absence was prolonged, and a heavy rain was 
falling, he went to the hut, and there found them 
comfortably extended and smoking native cigarettes 
('* roko* "), and it was only with great difficulty that he 
could induce them to resume the journey. They had 
procured a light by making the end of a piece of dry 
stick revolve rapidly in a small depression which they 
had made in another stick.* 

There were usually two fireplaces among the Benua, 
and they were furnished with the ordinary ,pots and 
pans used by the Malays, and had also small supplies of 
the coarsest Chinese plates and saucers. Water was 
carried and kept in the shell of a peculiar species of 
large melon which they cultivate, and which forms a 
very neat and serviceable, though not durable, jar. 
The bamboo is converted to the same purpose, but 
not often. The stem of an '* onak " ^ with the [tips of 
the] thorns broken off formed a strong and very 
effective grater. This was also used by the northern (.•^) 
tribes. Platters made of hard wood, cut into neat 
shapes and slightly curved, served, in conjunction with 
a half coconut - shell, to bruise chillies and other 
condiments. Malays have generally adopted for this 
purpose a pestle and shallow stone mortar. Most of 
the condiments were supplied by the Malays, such as 

1 /. /. A. vol. i. pp. 254, 255. up which it climbs in the jungle. 

* ** Onak '* is the whip-like structure There may be some doubt, however, 

(or *<flagellum") which forms the con- as to whether this "whip" is ever 

tinuation of the midrib of a rattan (or strong enough to be used for the 

calamus) leaf. It is armed, as a rule, purpose described, and as *' onak ** is 

with most formidable (recurved) thorns, often mistakenly used for the creeper 

and serves as a species of grapnel by itself, it is possible that the stem 

which this gigantic creeper hooks itself of the rattan Is all that b here in- 

on to the higher branches of the trees tended. 


onions and turmeric, etc. The roots of a cultivated 
plant were variously prepared. In the time between 
meals, or when a person came in hungry, they were 
roasted amongst the embers. For regular meals they 
were grated down or simply boiled with the addition 
bf hog s grease or vegetable oil.^ 


Banna- Jakon. — The whole household ate together, 
the wife sitting near the fireplace, so as to have the 
smoking pots and pans within reach. From these she 
replenished the plates from time to time. From the 
activity, relish, and high good-humour with which the 
viands were discussed, it was very apparent that the 
Benua is blessed with a strong appetite, and looks 
upon the satisfying of it as the main end of life. The 
children were in general overfed, and even those who 
were naturally vivacious seemed with difficulty to 
resist the lethargic influence consequent on their 
cramming themselves with potatoes boiled in hog's 
grease, a kind of food with which their natural nutri- 
ment is eked out from the third or fourth day of their 

Stimulants and Narcotics. 
Benna-Jakun. — The Benua use betel -leaf, but not 
to excess like the Malays. The gambier, betel-nut, and 
lime which are eaten with it they, like other aborigines, 
obtain from the Malays. Their favourite luxury wa3 
tobacco, in which both sexes freely indulged. The 
women were often to be seen seated together and 
weaving mats, each with a native cigarette (" roko' ") in 
her mouth. While they were speaking it was trans- 

*/. /. A, ▼ol. I p. 254. • lb, pp. 266, 267. 



ferred to the perforation in the ear. When they were 
met paddling their canoes^ the '* roko' " was seldom 

Articles of Diet. 

Berembun Tribes. — Snakes (as well as the ungka, 
kra, and some other species of monkeys)* were used as 
food by the Berembun tribes, who employed dogs to 
discover them. Those principally sought were pythons 
{e.g. the ular sawa and u. sawa rfindam, cobra (u. 
tedong), and others which are unidentified, e.g. u. ipong, 
u. naga, u. gasing, u. ripung, u. ulabat, u. ringkup, u. 
siu, u. manan, and u. kamong. The pythons (sawa) and 
ripung were the best flavoured. They all possessed 
"a fishy taste." Several kinds of snakes, even if the 
teeth are carefully removed, like those of the preceding 
species, cannot be used, the aborigines asserting that 
their flesh is poisonous.' 

The Berembun tribes use wooden platters and 
coconut-shells (for grinding their condiments) like the 
Benua (and the Javanese). They also employ either 
large bamboos or the shell of a particular species of 
large melon for carrying water.* 

Food and its Preparation. 

Jakun of Johor. — The food of the Jakun differs in 
no way from that of the other semi -civilised tribes 
already referred to. I may mention, however, that 
they have grown so used to rice that they cannot do 
without it, and probably first began to cultivate it 
more than forty years ago.* 

Tapioca -root appears, however, to be the staple 

» /. /. A, vol. I pp. 254, 255. * lb, p. 254. 

« Cp. p. 127 (of the Bcnua-Jakun). * See Hervey in/. R. A. 5., S. B.^ 

» /. /. A, vol, i. p. 257. No. 8, p. 122. 


diet of the Jakun living near Batu Gajah in Johor, 
for, according to H. W. Lake, although they also eat 
fruits and fish, with a little rice which they obtain, 
together with salt and tobacco, from Malay traders in 
exchange for rattan ("rotan"), resin or "dammar," gutta 
("g€tah"), and camphor wood, they nevertheless 
mainly subsist on the root of the tapioca. He was 
further informed by the Batin that during the greater 
part of the year, when they disperse in search of jungle 
fruits, these people live entirely on tapioca-root (" ubi 
kayu ") and fruit.^ 

On the other hand, Favre, writing of the food 
eaten by the Jakun in general, emphasised the fact 
that they had no regular diet They liked good 
food, but when they were deprived of it they eat with 
satisfaction any other, even such food as would be an 
object of horror to civilised people. They lived upon 
the flesh of every kind of animal — snakes, monkeys, 
bears, tigers, birds, etc., whilst yams, plantains, wild 
fruits, the leaves of trees, and certain roots furnished 
the principal part of their ordinary food. Those of 
them who cultivated rice sold a part of it to the 
Malays, or exchanged it for cloth, and upon the 
remainder they lived for a few months in the year. 
They did not dislike the flesh of domestic animals, 
fowls, etc., but, on the contrary, they preferred it to 
that of wild animals. At several of their houses there 
was a good quantity of fowls. Sometimes they 
cooked the flesh before they ate it, but at other times 
they ate it raw ; some merely put the animal upon the 
fire till the hairs were singed, when they considered it 
'•cooked." Favre saw some large monkeys which, 
after having been ** cooked " in this very fashion, were 

» H. W. Lake in/. R, A, 5., S. B,, No. 25, p. 3. 

132 FOOD PART 11 

dished up upon a kind of mat as a meal to some seven 
or eight persons, who speedily devoured the whole in 
a few minutes, leaving only the skeleton. In eating 
they used no dish; an iron frying-pan served for 
cooking, plantain leaves served as plates, and some 
coconut-shells formed their usual drinking-cups. Some 
Jakun tribes^ refused to eat the flesh of elephants, 
under the pretext that it would occasion sickness, but 
many others were "not so scrupulous." When an 
elephant was killed either by themselves or by the 
Malays, they called together their friends and relatives 
to partake of the large entertainment which was 
prepared ; and then built huts in which to lodge their 
• guests until the animal which furnished the feast was 
entirely finished, when every one decamped and 
returned to his usual way of living. When the durian 
season was come, a good number of Jakun families 
left their houses, both men and women as well as 
children repairing to the places where the durian trees 
grew. They then cleared the ground in order to find 
the fruit more easily when it ripened and fell, and, 
dwelling in a small shelter built of leaves, "prepared 
themselves to enjoy the treat that nature presented to 
them.*' For six weeks or two months they ate nothing 
but durians. When the season was over the place was 
deserted till the proper season next year.^ 

Favre further observes that "one of their most 
prized dishes is a honeycomb," and "let it be said 
with due respect to the opinion of our European 
cooks, the time when the honey is in the comb is not 
(amongst these epicures of nature) considered the 

* Favre writes : " Plusieurs tribus de * J. /. A. vol. ii. pp. 260, 261 ; cp. 

Benuas " (^. P, F, xxii. 303) ; but also vol. i. pp. 254-260. 
totemism need not be hence inferred. 


proper moment to take the hive ; but they wait until 
the small bees are well formed in the cells, and a few 
days before they are ready to fly away, the honey- 
comb is taken with great care, and, wrapped up in a 
plantain leaf, is put upon the fire for a few minutes, 
when wax and animals are devoured together, and 
considered as an uncommon treat ! " ^ 

Jakon (onspecifled). — According to Vaughan- 
Stevens, the Jakun were in the habit of using for 
drinking purposes either ** some sort of cup " or a leaf 
if nothing else were obtainable.* 

The same authority informs us that the Jakun on 
their wanderings always carried the smouldering end 
of a rope made of tree-bark fibre.' 

The ceremonial method used by the Jakun for 
kindling fire will be described in detail in a latei 

Stimulants and Narcotics. 

Finally Favre states of the Jakun that they were 
in the habit of chewing betel-leaf together with its 
usual accompaniment of areca-nut and gambier, and 
that when they were unable to procure the betel-leaf 
they used the leaf of a tree called " kasi."* Tobacco, 
when it was procurable, was much used, even by 
women and children, both for smoking and chewing.^ 

UdaL — Of the Udai our information is of the 
scantiest, all we are told being contained in a sentence 
by Newbold, to the effect that " they (the Udai) sub- 
sist on the flesh of the animals they catch, on wild 
roots, and on fruits of the forest"* 

* J. L A, voL iL p. 261. * J. I, A, vol. ii. p. 261 ; see also 

« Z,/. B. xxix. 184. vol. i. p. 255. 

» Ih. xxviiL 168. • Newbold, u. 381, 382. 

« G^mphia Hooken, Planch. 


Orang Laut or Sea-Jakun. 

Oranff Laut, Sletar^ — The food of the Orang Laut 
or sea tribes appears to have differed very little from 
that of the land tribes (Orang Bukit), though doubtless 
it included much more fish than that of the latter. We 
are told of the O. Sletar that the satisfying of hunger 
was their only pursuit, of water they had abundance 
without having to search for it ; with the * *serkap " or fish- 
spear, and the " parang ** or chopper as their only imple- 
ments, they eked out their existence from the stores of 
the river and forest To them the staple of life in the 
East, rice, was a luxury ; tobacco they procured by the 
barter of fish and a few marketable products collected 
from the forests and coral reefs. Of esculent roots 
they had the ** prioh " and " kalana," * both bulbous and 
not unlike coarse yams ; of fruits they ate the " tampoi,"* 
"kledang,"* and " buroh,*' when they came in season ; 
and of animals they hunted the wild hog, but refrained 
from snakes, dogs, "iguanas," and monkeys. This 
formed their principal food, for many minor products 
of the forests and creeks must be left unmentioned.* 

0. Laut, Sabimba. — The Sabimba, when visited by 
Logan, planted no vegetables of any kind, but used such 
leaves, roots, and fruits as the forest afforded.* They 
ate the flesh of every forest animal which they could 

n — 

1 Dioscorea deflexay Hook. The palm {Oncosperma Tigillaria\ and the 

'<akar kakap" (Diosccrea ordicu/a/a) fruit of the "tampoi," "maneling," 

is also eaten. — Ridley. "pancho," "kabcs," ♦*ridan" [A'i- 

^ Baccaurea Maiayana, pheliutn glabrum^ Noronh.], "ka- 

^ Artocarpus lanceaf alius, dumpa" [? '* kadampang^'s^/'tffVM/ki 

*y. /. A, vol. i. p. 343*. parviflora^ Roxb.], "ranjas," "mangos 

* E.g. the "akar kaJana" [Diosc, utan'* [Mangifira spp.], **kledang," 

dejiexajt ** simapo " [? Simpoh Dillenia " pasal " [Ardista odontophylla]^ " dur- 

spp., of which the acid fruit is eaten], ian" [Durio %ibethinus^ L.], **lakup," 

••ajas," "anpiro," "katapa" [?"ka- "pakala," "tore." — •/. /. A, vol. i. 

tapang" := Terminalia catappa^ L.], p. 296. 

the cabbage ("umut") of the nibong 


kill, and when brought in contact from time to time 
with more civilised people, showed no objection to any 
kind of food, save the fowl, which they scrupulously 
avoided. The wild animals and birds eaten were the 
wild pig,* mouse-deer or chevrotain * (" plandok "), the 
monkeys called "k'ra"*and " lotong," * the civet-cat* 
("musang"), the squirrel (" tupai "), "kubong,"* monitor 
lizard^ ("bewak"), "malok," imperial pigeon ("pergam"), 
" kalongkang," "koko," mynah bird® (" tiong"), green 
pigeon • (" punai "), the oil of snakes, and many kinds of 
fish. The roe-deer*® ("kijang"), the sambhur deer 
(" rusa "), elephant, and bear are not found in Battam. 
Flesh of all kinds was cooked by the men, vegetables 
by the women." 

Another observer of the Sabimba (Thomson), who 
visited them shortly after Logan, tells us that their 
food consisted of rice as the staple article, but that 
they added to this the flesh of the hog, monkey, 
snake, and ape, and birds of all kinds excepting that 
of the fowl, for the reasons stated in Logan's paper. 
Their vegetables consisted of the wild fruits of the 
jungle. This tribe was much more helpless than the 
Orang Sletar, being entirely dependent on the Malays 
for their arms and for the greater part of their food. 
They were unacquainted with the brewing of inebriat- 
ing liquors, though they informed Thomson that their 
tribe formerly possessed the art . In their habits they 
were, therefore, as temperate as the Malays.** 

0. Laat, Maka Kuning. — Of the diet of the Orang 

1 Sus indiois. ^ Hydrosaurus sdtvatar. 

* TragtUus napu and Traguius ^ Mainaius javanensis. 
kontkiL ^ Osmatreron vemans. 

> Macaeus cynowiolgus, ^^ Cervulus muntjac, 

* Semncpiih4cus. " /. /. A, vol. i. p. 296. 

* Pttradexurus and Viverra, » lb, p. 347. 

* GaUopitkecu^ — the flying squirrel. 


Muka Kuning all that we know is contained in the 
following passage : " The articles of food which they 
derive from the forest are the same animals and 
vegetables that are used by the Orang Sabimba (see 
pp. 134, 135). As with the Sabimba, the fowl is for- 
bidden food." ^ 

0. Laut (tribe unspeoifled). — Thomson found, at 
Pulau Tinggi (off the east coast of Johor), a number 
of O. Laut who had been attracted thither by a plenti- 
ful crop of durians. Six boats from Mora, an island 
of the Johor Archipelago (about 50 miles N. lat), he 
found on their way to P. Tinggi ; they had travelled 
by sea one hundred and eighty miles to partake of this 
fascinating fruit* 

* J, I. A. vol. L p. 337*. * flfid. vol. ▼. p. 140. 



Although it has been more than once asserted ^ that 
the wild people of the Peninsula are accustomed to go 
entirely nude, I have hitherto failed to get any satis- 
factory first-hand proof of this. On the other hand, the 
fact that any such custom is invariably denied by the 
wild people themselves, is by no means conclusive, and 
the matter must, at least, await further investigation. 
The Semang of Kedah, for instance, strenuously 
denied it, and it was not alleged of them even by the 
neighbouring Malays. There is no more proof of the 
practice obtaining in the case of the Sakai than there 
is in that of the Semang, and with regard to the Jakun 
of the south, the opposite view has been strongly 
set forth by Logan. The fact that the children, up 
to the age of puberty, are allowed to run about un- 

* Cp., e,g,f Bradley, pp. 294, 295 : does not appear from this statement 

** The pitiable objects before us were that there was anything amounting to 

completely naked, both men and a custom among the Benna of going 

women." [Bradley, however, was a bad totally nude, and it is possible that 

olserYer from ascientific point of view.] the impression may have got about 

Bat see Logan's remark in /. /. A. from a few similarly isolated instances, 

foL L pp. 252, 253: ''With the for which there was, doubtless, some 

exception of one honse, where the special reason. See Favre in /. /. A, 

mistress lay in a comer and appeared vol. ii. p. 258, where this view is 

to be, like her husband, totally destitute advocated. Cp., on the other hand, 

of dothes, I found the women every- Swettenham, p. 228 : ** Their clothing, 

where wearing a short * sarong.' " It when they wear any^ consists,'' etc. 



dressed does not of course imply that the grown-up 
people do so. 

Before entering upon a description of the dress 
worn by the various tribes, I should like to point out 
the remarkable fact that none of the wild tribes 
of the Peninsula, so far as has been observed, are in 
the habit of dressing themselves in the skms of 
;animals, or of decorating themselves with the feathers 
iof birds. In both respects they appear to obey what 
'seems to have been an ancient and general prejudice 
lj(possibly of religious origin) on the part of the tribes 
of South-East Asia, and in this regard they present 
a strong contrast to the bulk of the inhabitants of the 
Malay Archipelago. This neglect is certainly not 
due to the lack of opportunity, since the Malay 
Peninsula is probably little, if at all, worse off from a 
zoological point of view than any of the islands of 
Netherlands India. 

TAe Girdle, 

In the matter of dress, the girdles worn by the three 
main races form one of the most interesting subjects 
of iriquiry. It is not easy to determine for certain 
which of the various forms of girdle are of Sakai and 
which of Semang origin, but there certainly appears to 
be a strong affinity of type between the Semang 
fungus-string girdle ^ and some forms of girdle worn by 
the Andamanese. Moreover, this form of girdle 
appears only to be found among fairly pure Semang, 
and among such tribes as the N. Perak Sakai (who are 
neighbours to the Semang, and have a strong infusion 

1 Professor M. Ward, who has kindly structure this so - called '* Rock-vein 
examined my specimens under the Creeper" can only be the rhizomorph 
microscope, informed me that from its of a kind of fungus. 

Negrito Dress and Articles ok Apparel. 

De Morgan. 

I, 2, 3. " Bouquets" worn in the hair by Sakai {sic) woman (No. 1 is wrapped in a painted leaf). 4. Head- 
drclei or "diadem." 5, 6, 9, 10, 22, 24. Necklaces with pendants of shells, etc. (No. 6 of " buprestes "-legs 
threaded like beads; No. 10 with squirrels' tails, etc.; the shells so used are Hybocystis cUphas, Jonsseautneiy 
CyclopkoKHs Ma/ayanus, C semisulcatus^ etc.). 7, 8. Bracelets of coiled wire. 14, 15, 30. Two rings of 
coiled bras* wire, and one [No. 30] of woven rattan. 16. Girdle. 11. Loin-cloth. 12, 73. Nose-quills (or 
" nose-pins "X '8, 19, 28, 29. Combs (Nos. 18, 28 used for pinning flowers, etc., into the hair ; Nos. lo, 29 of 
•ro'jd)L 17, 25, 26, 27. Bamboo hair-pins, 20, 23. Knives. 21, 31. Vessels of bone and of wild-goat's horn. 

Vol. I. p. 138. 

Skeat CoUeciioH. 

Skmang Drkss. 

I, 2. Two Pangan leaf-ornaments (UIu Aring, Kclantan). 

3. One Pangan ear>ornament of rolled strips of palm-leaf (Ulii Aring). 

4. Pangan woman's leaf-ornament worn as handolior (Ulu Aring)— leavc^ and strips of 

palm leaf strung upon black fiingus-sirings. 

Vol. I. p. 139. 

CHAP. 11 



of Semang blood), whereas it is not recorded among 
pur-sang Sakai in other parts of the country remote 
from Negfrito influence. Hence there can be no reason- 
able doubt that this form of girdle should be assigned 
to the Semang tribes rather than to the Sakai.^ 

Another form of waist-belt which seems possibly 
derived from Negrito sources is that consisting of a 
fringe ^ of leaves suspended from a string, such as is 
said to be worn by the wilder Negritos {e.g. the 
Pangan).' It occurs, sporadically, among the Perak 
Sakai (of G. Bujang Malaka), and also among the 
Mantra of Malacca, in both of which cases it might 
consequently be regarded as an interesting survival of 
Negrito culture among the more southern tribes. 

The original Sakai type of girdle has not yet been 
identified, and in the present state of our knowledge 
it is probably not identifiable with any certainty. 
There only remain, in fact, for us to choose between 
the girdle of coiled cane* and the bark-cloth girdle. 
But both of these girdle -types reappear among the 

^ Cp. Man's Amd.^ l.c, p. 181 : 
'* Garenpeta, the ornamental waist-belt 
of Denialium octagonum which is worn 
occasionally by both sexes** (cp. ib, 
Plate vii Fig. 35). 

• Or fringes (r. infra) ; it would 
appear that a string with the leaves 
attached is considered soflSdent in the 
case of men, but that several rows 
of these fringes are worn by the 

' Man's ^iM/.,/.r. 109 : "The males 
of this tribe (Jaiawa) wear round their 
heads, waists, knees, and arms, fringes 
of string attached to a cord or cane." 
And cp. f^. p. no (note): "The 
Jarawa women have hitherto been 
seen with only armlets and cinctures 
of string, to ¥^ch a few short fibres 
were attached, obviously only for 
ornamental purposes." 

* The late Mr. J. E. PeaU, F.R.G.S., 
in the course of some notes on the 
Malayo-Polynesian theory (/. R, G, S. 
voL iv. p. 241), says : " At page 293, 
note 100, of iiit Journal (vol. iv. ?), I 
see the waist-girdle, *rua-rua,' men- 
tioned. Q>iled cane waist-girdles are 
common among most of our ultra- 
Indian races, for men and also for 
women. Baupa Nogas (sic}) call 
them ru-pak, usually a long split cane 
[is used], coiled eight or ten times round 
the waist; chiefs have very orna- 
mental ones, with patterns in coloured 
seeds and trade beads ; an exception- 
ally rare kind has thin plates of brass 
on, and is called a ra rong ru-pak, A 
monograph of the cane-girdle as seen 
from the Himalayas to Eastern Poly- 
nesia would reveal some startling 


Jakun, and indeed among other aboriginal tribes with 
Malayan affinities, e.g. among those of Sumatra and 
Borneo. This question, therefore, must also await 
further inquiry. 

The girdle of bark-cloth is so well-known and so 
widely spread throughout S.E. Asia, the Malay Archi- 
pelago, and the Pacific Islands, that a very few words 
about it should here suffice. The finest and best- 
known variety of this cloth is the "tapa" cloth of 
Polynesia. The cloth made by the tribes of the 
Malay Peninsula is, as a rule, more roughly manu- 
factured, though some very good cloth, decorated with 
zigzag patterns, is made in Perak. An interesting 
point is that the grooving or toothing of the bark-cloth 
mallet used by some of the Jakun runs longitudinally 
instead of transversely as in specimens from Rotuma.* 


The bands or ligatures worn by the aborigines 
round the upper part of the arm, the wrist, and just 
below the knee, were doubtless originally employed, 
as in other parts of the world, for a practical object, 
viz. to strengthen the muscles and prevent strains, 
the risk of which must be constantly present to the 
mind of a jungle people. It would appear just 
possible that even the use of the girdle, more especially 
that of coiled cane, may perhaps, in some cases, have 
had an equally utilitarian origin. On the other hand, 
this explanation can hardly apply to the necklace, or 
to rings, so that one key will certainly not fit all the 
locks. The necklaces worn by these Peninsular tribes, 
and I think also the rings, are certainly worn for 

1 Cp. p. 389, infra. I have to thank Mr. J. Stanley Gardiner for pointing 
this out. 


medical, or rather for magico-medical reasons, as are 
the combs of the Semang and of the Semang-Sakai 
women. I myself was definitely told this on several 
occasions both by the Semang and Jakun, and it agrees 
with the observations of other travellers in the same 

Thus, for instance, the Sakai of Kampong Langkor 
(S. Kerbu) believed in the ubiquitous presence of 
evil spirits (Hantu), against whose evil intentions 
they protected themselves by means of charms worn, 
in the forms referred to, upon their persons. Their 
bracelets, rings, and copper ornaments were, in fact, 
nothing but talismans, as De la Croix discovered in 
the following way : — A young girl who had disposed 
of her seed necklace to him came back in a hurry to 
ask for it to be returned. He thought she was not 
satisfied with her bargain, and was about to give 
her some knick-knack or other in addition, when she 
informed him that all she wanted back was the set 
of small spirals of copper-wire attached to the neck- 
lace. In spite of the most extravagant offers of 
tobacco, which certainly ought to have persuaded her, 
she would not allow him to retain the spirals, and 
evidently attributed a far greater value to them than 
could be accounted for by the mere worth of the 
copper. De la Croix subsequently asked the chief 
of the tribe (Bah Itam) about it, and the latter told 
him, with evident conviction, that the girl would 
certainly fall ill if she ceased to wear these metal 

' De la Croix, p. 338. See, too, use of necklaces and other ligatures 
the necklace described by Vaughan- may also apply to the girdle. 
Stevens, p. iS3f infra. This magical 


I. — Semang. 
The Girdle. 

Kedah Semangr. — By far the most remarkable and 
becoming form of girdle worn by any of these tribes, and 
one which appears, as has been said, to be of typically 
Semang origin (though occasionally found among the 
Sakai and even the Malays of Perak), was the girdle 
made from the long black glossy strings of a fungus 
(called in Malay the "Rock- vein Creeper**).^ These 
fungus girdles were of elaborate workmanship, the 
strings of the rhizomorph being most beautifully woven 
into a long narrow plait which was coiled round and 
round until it formed a girdle of the requisite shape 
and size, the loose ends forming a handsome fringe. 
This girdle was rarely worn by men, but more 
frequently by women, and it was from these latter 
that I obtained the specimens now in the Cambridge 

A yet simpler form of personal attire worn by 
the men of these Semang tribes as well as by the Sakai 
consists of a simple waist-cord or string into which 
leaves are inserted to form a fringe. The leaves 
generally used are those of the " chalong " tree or the 

Even when the Semang were wearing the Malay 
*' sarong" they still frequently retained this string 
underneath it, either from the mere force of habit or for 
reasons connected with their belief in Magic. In such 
a case, however, the leaves were more conveniently 
omitted, and the string alone retained. 

A similar leaf-belt was also sometimes worn by 

» Mai. "akar"or "urat Utu," U, " Rock-crecpcr " or "Rock-vein Creeper." 

Skt'ai CoUcction. 

Semang and Pang an Girdles. 

I. Man's girdle of Iree bark i^Artocarpus) iXj^y^ Aring). 2. Black fungus-string woman's girdle, 
bought ^m owner (Siong). 3. Girdle of Pangan woman (Kuala Sam, Kelantan river). 4. 
Woman's string-girdle of jungle fibre (Siong). 

Vol. r. /. 142- 

Skea: Collection. 

Fungus-String Girdle of Skmang Woman (Kedah). 

Hought from the wearer. 

Skeat ColUctioM. 

Seed and Tooth Necklace of Semang Woman (Keuah). 

Bought from the wearer. 

Vol. I. A 143. 


the women, whilst the boys, as a rule, wore the string 
or cord in all its simplicity. It was made, as a rule, 
either of twisted strips of palm-fibre {Eugeissona tristis 
or " bfirtam "), or of the long black strings of the Rock- 
vein fungus ("akar batu") already mentioned. 

The Semang of Kedah, however, most commonly 
wore the ordinary (Malayan?) loin-cloth, which con- 
sists, in its most primitive form, of a long narrow 
strip of beaten tree-bark or cloth, one end of which is 
wrapped round the waist, the other (loose) end being 
passed between the legs and tucked in through the 
part which serves as a girdle, with the free part hang- 
ing down in front. This bark loin-cloth, however, was 
not at all common among the Kedah tribes, the men 
preferring to use the cloth variety, which they obtained 
by barter from the Malays. In default they occasion- 
ally utilised the bark of the Artocarpus or, preferably, 
a finer cloth manufactured from the bark of young 
saplings of the Antiaris or ** upas " tree.^ The most 
usual attire of these Kedah women was a cloth waist- 
wrap reaching to the knee. 

Pangan,-»-The Pangan of the Bglimbing district in 
Ulu Kelantan were said to make their loin-cloths from 
the bark of a species oi Fictis ("ara"), as well as from 
that of the '* upas " tree and the Artocarpus. A girdle 
of coiled cane with a fringe of leaves was also worn by 
the Pangan women,* if not by the men, in the Ulu 
Kelantan (S. Sam) district. 

^ De M.'s tumecessarily vehement {Calamus)^ which form a girdle round 

tUtfunti is due, no doubt, to his not the waist as thick as the arm. They 

having seen it also wear a piece of bast or cotton stuff, 

' I give the following in a foot- Bsistened in front, drawn through be- 
Dote as^ though it is certainly Pangan, tween the legs, and then tied to the girdle 
there is nothing to show its locality : — behind. Fig. 2 (Plate ii.) shows a Sakai' 
" The remainder of the costume of the {sic, rede Pangan) lady in her daily cos- 
consists of a number of thin tume, drawn from nature." — M.-Mac- 

and sometimes red • coloured rattans lay in/. R. A, S,, S, B,, No. 2, p. 214. 


Perak Semangr. — The clothing of the Perak 
Semang is similar to that of the Negritos of Kedah/ 

As they have no manufactures of their own, their 
clothing consists chiefly of the inner bark of trees. A 
few, however, who venture to approach the Malayan 
villages obtain a little cloth in exchange for various 
kinds of jungle produce.* 


Kedah Semang. — The simplest form of necklace 
worn by the Semang in Kedah took the form of a 
simple neck-string or ligature either of the " Rock- 
vein" fungus or of fibre of the "bgrtam" palm 
{Eugeissona)y and was sometimes further embellished 
by stringing upon it the leaves of certain trees in 
alternation with knots of palm-leaf (Luuala). It was 
therefore, in fact, made on the same principle as the 
simplest form of girdle. 

More elaborate necklaces were, however, frequently 
worn. These consisted of two or more strings which 
were fastened together at a single point, and on which 
were threaded various small trophies of the chase, 
small wild roots, fruits, seeds, and other objects, all 
of which appear to be commonly worn for magical 

One of these more elaborate necklaces, which I 
obtained from the Semang of Kedah, consisted of a 
double string on which were threaded the teeth of 
an ape (Siamang), a number of minute bundles of 
fragrant grass, a couple of bears(.'^) teeth, a number 
of small flat beans, and a couple of small buttons of 

1 De Morgan, vii. 412 ; cp. Swett. p. 228. 
• /. /. A, vol. iv. pp. 425, 426. 


European manufacture, the latter being evidently 
regarded as objects of no small value ! 

Perak Semang. — The necklaces (of the Perak 
Negritos) consist of a series of chains of black and 
white seeds, alternately arranged and fastened together 
in a bunch. Some of these are very small, others as 
big as the closed fist.^ 

To these strings are attached hunting and fishing 
trophies consisting of the teeth or bones of animals, 
tufts of squirrels' tails, big fish-scales, and so forth, 
together with shells of the genus Bulimus and Hybo- 
cystis, or sea-shells of various sorts (but not Helix nor 
Cyclophorus, which are common in these forests). 
These shells are filled with a perfume extracted from 

The green legs of a beetle {Buprestes) are some- 
times but very rarely inserted between the seeds.* 
Whenever they can get coins, the Negritos wear them 
on their necklaces. De Morgan saw them wearing 
dollars, copper coins, and even Dutch coins of the 
seventeenth century.* 

Ligatures {Armlets and Bracelets). 

Kedah Semang. — In addition to girdles and neck 
laces, the Semang of Kedah almost all wore armlets, 
bracelets, and knee-bands, which were usually made, 
like their girdles and necklaces, from jungle-fibre, and 
very much upon the same principle. 

These ligatures were usually made, in Kedah, of 

^ De Moi^;an, vix. 413. It must be doubtless Sakai. > Ihid, 

remembered that he is writing of mixed ^ Ibid, 

SemaDg - Sakai tribes, and does not ^ De Morgan, vii. 414. Cp. Swett. 

apparently distinguish between Sakai p. 228 : ** The women (Semang) wear 

and Semang neckkces. The black and strings of brass rings, boars' or squirrels^ 

white arrangement is not found among teeth, beads or beetles' legs, and coins 

the purer Semang or Jakun, and is when they can get them." 



twisted fibre obtained from the ** bSrtam " palm 
{Eugeissona). Sometimes, however, they were made 
of finely plaited strips of rattan {Calamus), or of the 
strings of the " Rock-vein " fungus. Metal armlets and 
rings were, however, worn in a few cases, but these are 
more commonly found among tribes who mix more 
freely with the Malays. I never saw any armlets 
with European beads among the Semang of Kedah. 

The foregoing remarks apply equally to the Pan- 
gan of Kelantan. 

Perak Semang. — The bead -armlets or ligatures 
worn by the Semang of Perak were frequently made 
on the same plan as their necklaces (i.e. of black and 
white seeds strung alternately). Ordinarily they were 
very narrow, but in some cases they were very broad 
and covered a large portion of the arm.^ 

Semang (of Perak ?). — The women wore, by way of 
a charm, bracelets made from the leaves of the 
" palas " (Lictuila peltata), the men bracelets of the 
Rock-vein Creeper (the plant called "Tam-tum") 
fitting tightly to the left wrist. These bracelets are 
called " Chin-ing-neng." * 

Head-dress — Mens. 

Kedah Semang. — Among the Semang at Siong 
some of the men were wearing short woolly hair forming 
small spiral clusters close to the scalp. Most, how- 
ever, had adopted the fashion of shaving the head, 
which is found among other branches of the Negrito 
race {e.g. the Andamanese), as well as, frequently, 
among the local Malays. 

None of the men that I saw were in the habit of 

1 De Morgan, yii 413. > Vaughan-Stereiis, iii. 126. 


wearing anything on their heads, though several made 
a rough kind of turban out of some strips of bright red 
cloth that I had given them, and in this guise strutted 
about for all the world like great turkey-cocks ! 

On special occasions they bound their heads with 
fillets of palm-leaf, and for protection against various 
diseases special head-dresses were used, which will be 
described later. Flowers are also worn " for dandy." 

The (Malayan ?) top-knot was worn by some of the 
boys, but not by any of the men that I saw, though 
Vaughan- Stevens says that he saw men wearing it 

Perak Semangr. — Vaughan-Stevens'^ account of the 
top- knot worn by the Perak Semang is as follows : — 

Some of the Perak men leave a tuft — at the frontal end of the scalp, — ^bnt this is 
adopted from the Battaks (x/V), who cut their hair into all sorts of shapes. Nothing 
is known why this tuft is left. ** Plc*s orders *' [Pic, a deity of the Semang tribes, 
brother of Karih] is the only reply they give. Each of the tufts was taken from a 
man of about thirty years of age, whose hair had never been cut before, and had 
ceased growing. They were not tied in any way while on the head and were cut 
off for me readily without demur. . . . When the hair of the rest of the scalp 
has been left for a long time without cutting, the tuft cannot be distinguished from 
the rest of the hair. The exact position of the tuft varies slightly in different men, 
by about 20 or 25 mm. either to the front or back, but always in the median line. 

When the hair (as a whole) is not cut for a long time, the tuft shows the 
'* pepper-corn '* character with increased distinctness, it being in that case less dis- 
turbed by the leaves and twigs through which the Semang passes. The tuft, 
when left to itself, gets more or less combed out from its isolated position. 

The Beard. 
Kedah Semang. — In one or two cases only did I 
see Kedah Semang with anything approaching a 

^ In the same passage we are told that much-mixed Perak Semang (No. 55). 

the £. Semang (Pangan) men cut off ... The ' pepper-corn ' character is 

their hair as dose to the scalp as the best shown some six months {sic) after 

jongle-knife (parang) will allow, partly cutting, when the spirals lie only from 

for coolness' sake and partly for deanli- 5 to 10 mm. above the scalp. I gave 

But they left a small tuft, at each of the men furnishing specimens 

the top of the ocdput, whidi they did 55 and 56 a high cap which I made 

not cut. Vaughan-Stevens continues : them wear for a week, so as to allow 

'*Two of these little tufts — called the hair to assume its normal shape 

' Bag-i ' — I now send cut off dose to before cutting it. And I kept both 

the skiDt complete. One belonged to an men near me for that time." (From 

Eastern Semang (Pangan) of unmixed Fasc. A. fol. 29 ; Vaughan-Stevens in 

blood (No. 56), and the other to the V, B, G. A, vol. xxiv. pp. 440, 441.) 


beard, their chin-hairs as a rule being few, straggling, 
and scanty. Yet in one case I saw a Semang with 
a real beard, which, though very short, grew in closely 
curled spirals, presenting a woolly appearance, exactly 
like the owner's hair. On the other hand, most of 
the grown men had slight black moustaches. 

Pangan. — The wild pure-blood Eastern Semang 
(Pangan) ** plucks out his scrubby little beard, but 
tries to retain the moustache," in order, we are told, 
that he may be " distinguished from a woman " (!) ^ 

Head-dress — Women's. 

Kedah Semang. — The women's hair usually grew 
longer than the men's, and was in some cases allowed 
to grow (apparently uncared for) in a species of curiy 
mop.* This, however, was probably in the case of 
women who had some proportion of Sakai blood in 
their veins. In several cases the women, as well 
as the men, had partially shaved the head, the 
women always leaving, however, a circular patch at 
the back of the head, and a thin fringe on the fore- 
head untouched. 

Several of them were wearing the magic combs 
which they employ as a safeguard against diseases, and 
several of them too, probably with a view to receiving 
"company," had bound their heads with the Licuala- 
leaf fillets usually reserved for special occasions. 

The following were some of the forms of head- 
dress employed by the Semang women : — 

a. An oval shaven patch on top of head. 

b. A rectangular shaven patch on top of head. 

c. Quill-like plant shoots worn like horns in the hair. 

* Z.f, E, xxix. 179. The ab- the wtUst, is so obvious as to scarcely 

surdity of the explanation given by need pointing out. 
Vaughan-Stevens, as purporting to come ' Among these was the chieTs. 

from a race who habitually go bar$ to wife. 

Skmang with Gikdlks of Malay Cloth. 


Vol. /. /. 148. 

Seman(; Combs. 

Airflf Ci'fUrit\'ft^ 

I, 2. Two West Xesrito (Semaiij; of Kedah), said lo be worn as charms — aid well-worn 
specimens bought off the head of the wearers. 

3. One E. NcRrito (Pangan) obtained from Ulu Aring, Kclantan. 

4, 5. Two obtained by (irubauer in Upper Perak. — Proxenied to Cambridge Museum by 

Ridge way. 

J'o/. I. />. 149. 


In the method of dressing the hair represented by 
a, three fillets of Licuala'\t^l were used. One of 
these was carried from ear to ear over the top of 
the head, and the other two from ear to ear over the 
back of the head, the one just above and the other 
just below the clump of untouched hair covering the 
back of the head. 

In ^, a single fillet was used, which was carried 
all round the edges of the clump at the back of the 
head only. In ^, the horns consisted of the quill-like 
growing shoots of the Latvia grandifiora ("sulur 
lobak "), and were worn for magical purposes. Another 
woman had bound her head with a fishing line, using 
the hook as a fastening. 

Magic Combs. 

Kedah Semang. — In addition to the various forms 
of head-dress mentioned, some of which are common 
to both sexes, the Semang women wore in their hair 
a remarkable kind of comb, which appears to be worn 
entirely as a charm against diseases. 

These combs were almost invariably made of 
bamboo (an average specimen measuring perhaps 
three inches by five), and were decorated with an 
infinite variety of designs, no two of which ever entirely 
agreed It was said that each disease had its appro- 
priate pattern, and hence in some cases several combs 
were worn simultaneously, apparently to protect the 
wearer against several diseases at once. 

Similar combs are worn by the Pangan, the Semang 
and Sakai of Perak, and most of the mixed (Semang- 
Sakai) tribes, e.g. the O. Jelei of Pahang. 

Their patterns and magical significance will be 
fully described in a later chapter. 



as I am aware, among other sections of the race more 
remote from the Semang. 

Necklaces, Armlets, Brcuelets, Rings. 

Perak SakaL — De Morgan speaks of the necklaces 
and bracelets of the Perak Sakai as in no way differing 
from those worn by the Perak Semang (p. 146). 

According to Hale, the men appeared to wear no 
ornaments except very small bracelets and waist-belts 
made of the " Rock-vein " fungus (already mentioned).* 
The women, on the other hand, wore bracelets and 
necklaces made of seeds, shells, certain sweet-smelling 
roots, and anything they could get from the Malays 
that could be strung on. A necklace, purchased from 
an old woman, contained nine strings of black and 
white seeds differently arranged, a string of old Malay 
copper coins, a few glass beads, the tip of a squirrel's 
tail, two tufts of monkeys' hair, a spiral of brass 
wire, five snail shells, and the brass support of the 
ribs of an umbrella. This was about the average of 
a Sakai necklace.* 

The Sakai of **Changkat Riam*' (in Perak), 
according to De Morgan, strung upon their necklaces 
and bracelets not only seeds but small bones as well.' 

These necklaces and bracelets were very similar to 
those of Sungei Raya, but at Changkat Riam brass 
ornaments were conspicuous by their absence, prob- 
ably owing to the great distance of the latter settle- 
ment from any of the Malay villages.* 

On the arm a thickish string, or series of strings, is 

it as being worn by the Sakai men (of ^ Hale, p. 292. 

Kinta in Perak), as well as by the local ^ lb. See also De U Croiz, p. 33a 

Malays, who in this case are clearly ' 5<<-, ?<*Riang." — De Morgan, viiL 

borrowers. 211. < lb. 

Sakai GiKL OK Sol TH Pkrak, 
showing bark doth dress, headband, necklace, armlet, ring, and bracelets. 

I'ci. /. /. 152. 

Sakai \V(hMKN IN Malay "SAKoxciN." showing f.s, Akmlets, and Hracelkt!- 

Ulu Hcitan^:. Perak. 

;W. /./. 153 


also occasionally worn by the Sakai, The women 
(very rarely) wear anklets as well as bracelets and 
armlets.* Moreover, whenever they are able to do so, 
the Perak Sakai substitute metal rings, spirals, and 
beads obtained from the Malays for the strings of 
natural objects just described.^ Their favourite piece 
of jewellery is undoubtedly the brass bracelet or 
finger-ringj both of which are in the form of spirals, 
which they fit on to their arm or finger.^ 

Vaughan- Stevens* states that necklaces (**dokoh*') 
among the Sakai were worn by persons of both sexes 
and of all ages, whereas among the Jakun or Benua 
(" B^nar- Bfinar ") they were only occasionally worn. 
Attached to them were amulets {''tangkar) made 
from the **bunglei/' the fresh roots of which were cut 
*' diagonally'' into small slices. When the necklace is 
ready its maker lays it upon his palm, and facing 
eastwards, touches it with his lips, and repeats the 
following invocation addressed to the Evil Spirit 

Necklace Chakm. 

OM 3 Die, O Mati-anak, buried under the e^Lrth heaped up for the Roadway. 

Wbit is the origin of thy existence ? 

DeiDon of the biw>d of a person dead in chtidbirthf 

Thai is the origin of thy exi.stence, 

M^ttt'onaiv of the River-banks, return to the River-bunks \ 

Maii-anak of the ** outcropj" return lo the outcrop ; 

Fluek oat with speJb and neutralise again and uigoin the demon Mati-anak, 

Descend, O poison of the Mali^anak ; 

Rise, O Neatraliser of mine. 

I As soon as the words have been spoken, the 
speaker spits twice upon the necklace and the cere- 
mony is ended. The plants of which the necklace is 
* De Morgan, vii. 413* black and white seeds with glass 

* De MorganjvHi* ijo and vii. 413, beads, ' De Morgan , vii* 4 J 3* 

Cp. Also Hale, p. 193. Their great * V,-Sl, ii. 144. The original has 

Ambttran icems to be to replace the been corrected » 


made must, like officinal plants, be pulled up, and not 
cut or dug up/ 

Selangor Sakai. — The foregoing remarks as to the 
dress of the Perak Sakai apply equally to the Sakai 
of Selangor, amongst whom, however, copper, brass, 
and even iron arm -rings (spiral or otherwise) and 
bracelets are perhaps rather more commonly worn, as 
most of these Selangor tribes live somewhere in the 
neighbourhood of Malay civilisation. 

The same is true of finger-rings, which are still 
occasionally manufactured from various products of 
the jungle (bone, horn, tortoiseshell, the crest of the 
Rhinoplax^ etc.), though metal rings are much pre- 
ferred, and are usually obtainable. 

The Head-dress, 

Perak SakaL — The method of wearing the hair is 
for the men (whose hair is long and wavy) to wear it 
just down to the shoulders in a wild and unkempt 
condition ; and the women are also said, among the 
wilder tribes, to wear it in a mop, which "stands 
out all round from the head." When, however, they 
have intercourse with the Malays they tie it back in a 
knot like the latter.* 

According to Bartels, Vaughan - Stevens heard 
(among the Sakai) that iron may not be used for 
cutting either the hair or finger-nails, this being the 
reason why the wilder tribes of them (Orang Liar) 

* Vaughan - Stevens, ii. 144, 145. sionof**batuampat" ("four boulders") 

Vaughan - Stevens' account contains with "batu ampar" ("outcrop of 

several errors (due to his ignorance of rock "), and his building up of a pretty 

Malay), which have here been corrected. little theory on the mistaken version. 
The worst of these is perhaps his confu- * Hale, p. 293. 


would never have their hair cut.^ Both men and 
women left untouched the hair of the body.* 

We are further told that the Sakai (Blandas), for 
thoroughly washing the head and hair, employed the 
scrapings of the inner part of the bark of a particular 
creeper (" kletterrebe '*), of which the young stems and 
shoots were armed with an abundant quantity of 
sharp thorns, like those of the rose. The leaf was 
like that of an acacia, dark green and smooth, and 
of great circumference. A handful of freshly scraped 
bark was applied to the head, together with water, 
somewhat like a sponge, when it produced a thick 

This creeper may well be the **b'luru," a climber 
used by the Malays as a substitute for soap. 

By way of head-dress the men, however, some- 
times wore a mere cord, furnished with two small 
knots or rosettes, whereas the women preferred 
merely to wear in their hair the flowers of the 

Elsewhere, speaking of some (fifteen) Sakai women 
whom he saw at Kampong Langkor (on S. Kerbu), 
De la Croix remarks that one of them who had 
charming features, and was indeed actually pretty, 
wore in each ear a small white flower which she had 
picked at the side of the path ; another wore a simple 
tuft of grass in her hair, and (passed through her ears) 
some kind of plant which hung down as far as her 
back. An old woman, again, wore in her hair (or 
** chignon ") nothing but a tall plant, which oscillated 
with every movement of her body.* 

The women also occasionally wear the combs of 

* Z./. E, xxix. 178. * De la Croix, p. 330. 

* lb, J). 179. ' lb, « lb, p. 336. 


the N^frito women.* According to De Morgan, 
these combs are made of decorated bamboo, or else 
of small wooden teeth bound together by means of an 
exceedingly tight string. These latter are used by 
the Sakai of G. Bujang Malaka and of S. Kampar^ 
(both of which places are in Perak). 

In addition to these combs the Sakai women, 
when they wear their hair long, adorn their heads 
with fillets and bouquets, which they keep in place 
by means of a comb or a long dagger-shaped bamboo 
pin, covered with (incised) patterns.' 

The fillets and bouquets are generally gathered in 
the forest and worn fresh, though the Sakai not 
unfrequently also wear dried plants cleverly plaited.* 

According to Hale, the Sakai women also wear 
porcupines* quills, etc., through the lobe of the ear, rolls 
of cloth and other materials being also worn, not for 
the purpose of ornament, but in order to enlarge the 
orifice.* Short bamboo tubes with flowers in them are 
then inserted.^ 

For the quills, earrings were not unfrequently 
substituted — probably owing to their greater con- 
venience. According to De Morgan, the women also 
wore earrings consisting of copper rings, a small 
string of beads, or a mere flower, whose stalk is 
inserted into the perforation of the lobe.^ 

Nose-sticks or Nose-quills. 

Perak Sakai. — But one of the most distinctive orna- 
ments is the nose-quill, which appears to be originally 

> Hale, p.295 (and Plate xiiL ibJ). ^ De Morgan, viL 413, 414. 

» De Morgan, vii. 413, 414. * Hale, p. 293 : cp. vol. iL 39. 

' This pin is also used (Hale, p. * E,g, among the Semang-Siakai of 

295) for disentangling the hair. For U. Jelei, Pahang . 
patterns, v, Fasc, Mai, 35, 36. ' De Morgan, vii 413, 414. 


Sakai Family, showing Xose-quills, Nkcki.aces, Akmi.ets, and 

Ulu Bikum, near Bidor, South Perak 

Vol. I. p. 157. 


a Sakai ornament, and is worn by both sexes. Some 
tribes {e.g. those of S. Kinta) wore porcupines' quills 
passed through a perforation made for the purpose in 
the septum of the nose.^ The men wore them with 
the ends passed between the hair and the top of the 
ear. The women passed them through the lobe 
itself.^ A long bone of a fish, bird, or monkey* (and 
among the Sakai of Pahang a nose-ring *) is sometimes 
substituted for the quilL 

Occasionally for the porcupine's quill a piece of 
wood, about a quarter of an inch (6 mm.) in diameter 
and about six inches (15 cm.) long, was substituted.^ 

A few who affected to be dandies used to orna- 
ment their nose-sticks*** 

An occasional substitute for the quill is a roUed-up 
piece of banana-leaf' 

Selangor Sakai- — The nose-quill is also occasionally 
worn by the Selangor Sakai {e.g, in the district of 
Ulu Langat),* 

IIL— Jakun. 

Blandas of Selangor. — The Blandas of the Kuala 
Langat district have now largely adopted the Malay 
dress, though when at work in the jungle they still 
frequently revert to the bark loin-cloth, which forms a 
more convenient working dress. The women more 
usually wear a sort of short skirt or kilt of bark- 

* Accorditig to Colonel Lov, the of porcupiDes (/. /. A, vol. iv. p. 429). 

MaUyfc dividfcl the Sakai of Pemk ^ De Morgan, vii. 414. 

into three classes — the '<Tame" Sakai, ' Hale, p. 293. 

the '* HUP' Sakai of Ulu BirtaDg (jtV, ^ As in a photograph by R. Martin. 

gtutre "Bertang"), and the Alas of * 15 cm. by 6. 2 mm. Q^,/.R,A,S.^ 

Uln Kantu (sic, quart "Kinta"). 5. -5., No. 4, p. 30. 

This last tribe differed from the other ® fb. This applies also to the 

two in having adopted the custom of Semang-Sakai of Ulu Jelei, Pahang. 

piercing the cartilage of the nose and ^ Swettenham, p. 228. 

ears, and inserting therein the quills ^ J. A. G. Campbell, p. 243. 


cloth, the ends of which, though usually unsewn, are 
sometimes roughly stitched together with jungle fibres. 
The " feel *' of the bark-cloth made by these people 
is not unlike a sort of rough leather. 

The above remarks are equally true of the Besisi 
tribes of Selangor, who were pretty generally in the 
habit of wearing Malay dress. 

BesisL— The everyday dress of the Besisi differed 
very little from that of the Malays, the men wearing 
for the most part a loose cotton jacket and trousers, 
and the women a jacket and a Malay sarong. In the 
jungle, however, the more convenient " chawat " ^ still 
lingered on, and shy as the Besisi might be of 
wearing it before strangers, they had no such scruples 
when by themselves. Red '* sarongs " were preferred. 

Bracelets and armlets, rings, necklaces, etc., were, 
on the other hand, worn most profusely, a good scrap 
necklace, with plenty of coins on it, being highly 
valued, as the wearing of coins was believed to be 
especially good for the eyes. 

The rings worn by the Besisi were made of 
various natural products of the jungle, bone, horn, 
tortoiseshell, etc. ; from chips of coconut-shell ; from 
black coral ("akar bahar") ; from "batu akik," a species 
of stone ; from various kinds of shell ; and from the 
red crest of the solid-crested Hornbill or Rhinoplax. 
This latter was valued by the Besisi, as by the Malays, 
on account of the belief that it would turn green 
whenever poison approached the wearer. Finely 
woven matwork pouches (" bujam ") were also com- 
monly carried for holding betel-leaf, etc. 

Nose-boring and tattooing of all kinds (or rather 
scarification), if ever practised, had, however, long 

* Cp, voL ii. p. 144, n, i. 

Sakai Gkoli', I'll- Lui, Ulu Langat, showing Women and Girls in Malay Dress. 

rr/. /./. 153. 


disappeared, and though face - painting was still 
occasionally to be seen, it was only on special occasions 
(such as the tribal feasts) that the ancient methods of 
personal adornment were still in evidence. 

Mantra. — The Mantra, with the exception of 
their young children, never go absolutely nude, the 
men always wearing at least some "covering round the 
waist," and the women always wearing the "sarong" of 
the Malays, " which covers the entire body from the 
knee to above the breast." The " holiday garb " of 
the men is the ordinary wear of the local Malays 
(a loose jacket, a " sarong," or perhaps short trousers, 
and a coloured handkerchief wrapped round the 

Many of the Mantra around Gunong Berembun 
still wear the bark of the Artocarpus (" t'rap "), the 
men using the " chawat," and the women a piece of 
rude cloth, formed by simply beating the bark, which 
they wrap round their persons, and which, like the 
" sarong " of the Johor females, reaches only from the 
waist to the knees. They have no description of 
shoe, sandal, or slipper, and no articles of the toilet.^ 

The women "take considerable care of their 
hair, which they gather up on the top of their heads, 
and plait in the shape of a crown," fastening it with 
pins, and on special occasions inserting round it 
flowers and leaves.* 

The Mantra females have wider ear-pertorations 
(than the Benua of Johor). They are enlarged to the 
diameter of about half an inch by inserting a wooden 
pin or roll of Ltcudla- (" palas ") leaf, which is gradually 
increased till the desired width is acquired. Pendants 
are not worn, but many have ear-studs (" subang "), 

1 Logan in/. /. A, toL L pp. 252, 253, • lb. « lb. 


about the size of a Company's rupee, made by Malays, 
and similar to those worn by Javanese females. 
Silver rings are also worn. They bind the hair in 
the same way as the Johor Benua.^ 

The "little girls" have their ears pierced by 
their parents for the reception of earrings ; in the 
absence of earrings, these holes are filled with small 
roUed-up strips of banana-leaf or a large stud of 

They also wear large Malay waist-buckles (of the 
kind called "pinding") and Malay bracelets.* 

The children wear necklaces consisting of strings 
of monkeys' bones, teeth of bears or tigers, coins, and 
shells; these necklaces, however, are not worn for 
mere ornament, but as a talisman against disease/ 

The only other point that calls for remark with 
regard to the dress of the Mantra, lies in the close 
resemblance between the form of girdle worn by the 
Sakai women in the neighbourhood of G. Bujang 
Malaka (which consisted of a row of small grass- 
bundles fastened to a cord which went round the 
waist), and that observed in 1869, by Marche, among 
the Mantra women north of Malacca.^ 

Benua - Jakun of Johor. — According to Logan, 
the original dress of the males, to which a few 
individuals whom he met were still restricted, was the 
" chawat " — a narrow strip of cloth passing between 
the legs and fastened round the waist. With these 
exceptions all were provided with the Malay short 
trousers ("sfiluar"), jacket ("baju"), plaid skirt, or 
wrapper (" sarong"), and headkerchief ("saputangan"), 
or some of them, but often in so ragged a condition as 

* Logan in/. /. A. vol. L pp. 252, 253. * Bone (tr. Bourien), pp. 75, 76. 

• /J. * lb, « De U CroU, p. 330. 


to show that they carried their wardrobes on their 
persons, and were seldom able to renew them. With 
the exception of one house, where the mistress lay in a 
comer and appeared to be, like her husband, totally 
destitute of clothes, Logan found the women every- 
where wearing a short "sarong," fastened at the 
waist or a little below it, and barely reaching to the 
knees — it was, in fact, only the half of an ordinary 
Malay "sarong." This was the only garment that 
they possessed, but in a few families, such as that of 
the BSntara of Boko, some of the females wore the 
Malay jacket ("baju"). The hair was bound in a knot 
behind. From the great desire universally expressed 
for pretty ** sarongs," jackets (** bajus "), handkerchiefs, 
and ornaments, we must do the Benua ladies the justice 
to believe that they would willingly deck themselves in 
the full Malayan costume if they had the means.^ 
The only ornaments that they possess are plain 
brass rings and bracelets. Their ears were pierced, 
but the orifice, which is of the diameter of a quill, was 
more often occupied by the native cigarette or "roko*," 
or a piece of cloth, than an earring.^ 

The hair was black and in general smooth and 
lank, but in some it was frizzled, and in all somewhat 
more dry and tangled than in the Malay, arising from 
the little oil that they use. It is worn long or 

^ " Both men and women go nearly to appear more decently clad. The 

naked whilst near their own haunts ; women particulariy take great pleasure 

they wear nothii^ but a strip of the in silver bracelets, rings, and other orna- 

fibrous bark of the U^rap' tree, beaten ments. IdonotrecoUectthat Ihaveseen 

iBto a sort of cloth of a reddish-brown any instance of the Benua wearing the 

colour, called a * sabaring,' round their skins of wild beasts, as has been alleged. 

k>tns ; part of this comes down in They carry about with them little mat 

£ront, is drawn between the legs, and pouches, containing generally a small 

fastened behind. The men sometimes portion of tobacco, a flint and steel, a 

encircle their heads with a string of knife,and a rude bamboo call or whistle'* 

/.iWmi^i- (* palas ') leaves. On visits to (Newbold, ii. 398); v. p. 137, ante, 
Malay villages they generally contrive ^ J. /. A, vol i. pp. 252, 253. 



cropped short, as with the Malays, according to the 
taste of the individual. Some old women had long 
discontinued the use of oil, and their dry, rusty, 
unkempt locks, aiding the effect of their piercing, 
sinister eyes, which almost seemed to be touched by 
insanity, frightened some of Logan's Malays not a 
little ; and so persuaded were they that the old ladies 
had the " evil eye," that they felt greatly relieved when 
he left the house.^ 

The clothes of the Jakun (when they used 
any) were ordinarily the same as those used by 
the Malays, but poor, miserable, and, above all, very 
dirty ; many of them used clothes without washing, 
from the day they received or bought them until they 
became rotten by use and dirt, when they were 
obliged to throw them away ; if vermin were found, 
which was often the case, principally upon the women 
who were more dressed up, they were immediately 
eaten with delight, as in Cochin-China. If many of 
them were badly dressed, and some nearly naked, it 
was more from a lack of clothing than in accordance 
with their own wishes, especially amongst the women ; 
for all desired to be clothed, and the most agreeable 
presents which could be offered to them were the 
short (Malayan) trousers, " sarongs," jackets, or hand- 
kerchiefs to put round their heads, according to 
the Malay fashion. Those of them who went 
habitually nearly naked never appeared in that 
condition before strangers, except when they actually 
had no clothes. The Jakun of Johor, who were 
superior to the others in many respects, as can be 
inferred from what has been said, were also the best 
dressed ; their women wore much the same as Malay 

» /. /. A. vol. i. pp. 251, 252. 


women, both as to dress and the order of their appear- 
ance ; they had, moreover, a great number of rings on 
their fingers, some of which were crystal, some of 
copper, and some of tin, but also a good many of silver; 
they took a peculiar pleasure in these ornaments, as 
well as in silver bracelets.^ The men had at least the 
trousers, a small jacket or " baju,'' and a handkerchief 
for the head. The Jakun of the N^ri Sembilan 
and Rembau had the same dress as was used by the 
Jakun of Johor, and the women the same ornaments, 
but they were not so well clothed, many of them 
going nearly naked, at least near their houses; and 
those who used clothes often showed an embarrass- 
ment which proved that they were not accustomed 
to their use. The Jakun of Malacca were badly 
dressed, many of the women had only a " sarong," and, 
if they were married, a ring, the necessary present of 
the husband at marriage. The greater part of the 
men had nothing but a strip of the fibrous bark of the 
^ t'rap " tree, beaten into a sort of cloth of a reddish- 
brown colour, called a " sabaring," round their loins ; 
part of this came down in front, was drawn between 
the l^s, and fastened behind.* 

As r^ards the hair, some of them left the 
whole to grow and turned it round the head, like 
the Cochin-Chinese ; others, as for instance many of 
those of Malacca, cut theirs off entirely;* yet others, 

1 J. /• A. ToL ii. p. 258. hair, however, is allowed to grow as 

s Ih, long as possible. The Jakun custom 

> *' Formerly the Jakun did not cut of binding the fringe of hair with a 

the hair, but let it grow (from child- band of tree-bark, to keep it out of 

hood to age) down to their neck and the eyes, is imitated by the Orang 

dwolders. The hair of the boys is at \jb.mV' {Z. f. E. xxix. 177). «The 

the present day cut to a fringe oyer Jakun girls stick flowers in their hair, 

the Ibrehead, or else it is all cut off instead of the brightly coloured shells 

with the exception of a scalp-lock, as used by the Orang Laut '' {ib. p. 

Malay children. The girls' 178). 

i64 D/^ESS PART U 

chiefly those of the Negri Sembilan and Rembau and 
Johor, shaved the head, leaving unshaven only, on 
the crown, a space about three inches in diameter, 
where they never cut it, just in the same way as the 
Chinese ; and to prevent this head of hair from being 
hooked by the branches of trees in the jungle, they 
tied it up in the form of a top- knot. They had 
scarcely any beard, and many of them had none at 
all. The women left their hair to grow, and then tied 
it up in the same way as the Malay women ; but as 
they had but little occasion to care much for appearance, 
it will be easily imagined that they were not very 
particular in this respect. Some of them are said to 
treat their hair with lime.^ 

It does not yet seem to have been recorded 
whether the Jakun are in the habit of eradicat- 
ing their beard, but there is, I believe, very little 
doubt upon the point. Vaughan - Stevens does 
not actually state that the Jakun men pull out the 
hair of the face, though he clearly implies it in 
saying that the beard and whiskers (of the Jakun) 
are scarcely ever present, even if they are not in« 
tentionally pulled out.^ 

Orang Laut or Sea-Jakun. 

Necklaces and Armlets. 

Name of Tribe unspecified. — The Orang Laut have 
now all taken to the Malay dress. The desire to 
adorn the person exists among their women despite 

* Logan in /. /. J. vol. ii. p. 248. people, to which I called their attention 

Cp., however, the statement of V.- a long time before, ever treated their 

Stevens — "I could not learn whether the hair with lime, as some of the New 

Jakun, although they perceive<l the Guinea men do " (Z./. ^. xxix. 178). 
reddish colour of the hair of the young ^ ^^y; £^ j^^ix. 179. 


their usually degraded condition. The girls will take 
any object that glitters to wear upon their armsl, 
neck, or breast. Nowadays these objects are nearly 
always the products of civilisation obtained from 
Malays and Chinese, but formerly coloured bi- 
valves, seed-grains, etc., were employed. Vaughan* 
Stevens saw a prettily composed necklace, with which 
the woman who possessed it positively refused to 
part. It was made up of variously coloured plant- 
seeds growing on the coast, small vari^ated 
marine bivalves gathered from the sands, and short 
segments of crabs* legs (like one of our own coral 

The Hair. 

The ** turned in " {eingeh&ngte) part of the claw 
of a crawfish is often used by the Orang Laut as 
a head-scratcher, and for this purpose is stuck in the 
hair or kept in the girdle. If the claw is short, a 
little piece of stick is stuck in it, in order to lengthen 
it sufficiently. Half of the lower jaw of fishes which 
have " needle- teeth " is frequently, even to the present 
day, used in place of a comb.^ 

As might be expected from people who are so much 
on the sea, the Orang Laut girls use brightly 
coloured shells for hair ornaments, instead of the 
flowers which are used by the Jakun.* 

Up to manhood the boys do the same, but no 
later, unless there is some special reason (besides 
mere decoration of the person) for their doing so.* 

At the present day the Orang Laut bind the hair 
back to keep it out of their eyes either with a band 

» Z.f, E, xxviiL 170. * lb. xxix. 178. « lb. * lb. 


of cotton stuff, or else, in imitation of the Jakun, with 
a similar band of tree-bark. They do not, however, 
like to wear any sort of covering for the (top of the) 
head, even in the sun.^ 

Among the Orang Laut both sexes use fat or oil 
for their body and hair, because, as they say, the sea- 
water irritates the unprotected skin, if it is later 
exposed to the sun. At the present time coconut- 
oil and other oils are easy to get, but formerly fish-fat 
was used.* 

In the following accounts the name of the tribe is 
specified : — 

0. Laut, Sletar. — The middle of both men and 
women was generally covered by a coarse wrapper made 
from the bark of the Artocarpus, and extending 
from the navel to the knee. The women affected a 
slight degree of modesty at first approach, but this soon 
disappeared. Instead of the wrapper of " t'rap," they 
frequently put on instead an old patched-up Malay 
" sarong." The locks of the men were bound up 
with a tie of cloth, and sometimes by the Malay 
headkerchief or " saputangan " ; those of the women 
fell in wild luxuriance over their face and shoulders. 
Their children went entirely naked until the age of 

0. Laut, Sabimba. — Their close relations with the 
Malays have given them a taste for dress, as they 
were wearing cloth instead of the bark of trees. The 
women were dressed in " sarongs," after the manner 
of Malay women, but the men wore only a strip 
of cloth of scanty dimensions round the middle and 
passing between the thighs.^ 

» Z./ E. xxix. 177. ' /. /. A, vol. L p. 345*. 

* lb, p. 185. * lb. p. 350*. 


0. Laut, Maka Kuning. — The males (of the Orang 
Muka Kuning) mostly wear the " chawat " of Arto- 
carpus ("t'rap") bark, and the females short "sarongs'* 
of cloth.^ 

0. Laut, Aklk. — Their dress resembled that of the 
Malay, but was coarser and poorer, and when they were 
engaged in ordinary pursuits seldom extended beyond 
a waist-cloth or "chawat."^ 

' /. /. A. vol. 1. p. 337*. * Newbold, ii. 413, 414. 



The two first and most obvious forms of shelter would, 
to a wild jungle-dwelling race, naturally be the large 
umbrella-like palm-leaves growing in the forest, and 
natural caves or holes in the ground. In the case of 
the latter, however, it appears that certain preferences 
exist, for " the caves which have been inhabited (in 
Perak) are those which are formed by the overhanging 
of the cliffs {t.e. * rock-shelters '), and not those caverns 
that have been hollowed out in the rock. The same 
class of cave was inhabited by many of the cave- 
dwellers of Europe, as well as by the early New 
Zealanders." ^ Mr. Wray further informs me that 
he could find no trace of human remains in the caves 
themselves, but that in some rock-shelters near the 
'* dark caves " there were some thick deposits. For 
an exception to this rule, however, it ought to be 
pointed out that the well-known ** limestone caves *' 
at Batu (six miles from Kuala Lumpor in Selangor) 
were certainly at times inhabited by some of these 
jungle -folk, as was stated by W. T. Hornaday 
in his account of his discovery of the caves, in the 
company of the late Captain Syers, and confirmed by 

* L, Wray, Cave-dwcl/ers, p. 37. 


later visitors. The reason for this use of these caves, 
moreover, is in this instance known, viz. : the fact 
that they afforded protection against wild elephants. 
At the same time it is only £ur to add that this is the 
only exception I know of 

Although, however, the practice of utilising such 
natural refuges as are afforded by the geographical 
features (such as trees and rock-shelters) of the country 
they live in appears to be common to all the wilder 
members of the three races alike, and although it may 
be possible to trace certain similarities in the methods 
by which their more settled fellow-tribesmen succeeded 
in evolving a hut-type which, at first of the pile-hut 
type common in S.£. Asia, became gradually assimi- 
lated to that of the Peninsular Malays, it is neverthe- 
less quite possible in certain respects to differentiate 
the various types of hut, and even to specify with 
almost complete certainty to which of the three races 
these tjrpes should be assigned. 

The Semang huts, for instance, frequently resemble 
(as might almost be expected) the huts built by the 
Andamanese, and the circular (and semicircular) huts 
formed by planting a number of palm-leaves upright 
in the ground, with their tops drooping over to a 
common centre, appear also to be only recorded in 
districts where Negrito influence is either certain or 
to be suspected. The long leaf-shelter, too, that I 
visited in Kedah was certainly of a type apparently 
confined exclusively to the Semang or N^rito. It 
may be added, moreover, that the Semang appear 
(speaking broadly and generally) to be on the whole 
more given to the use of tree-shelters and huts on 
ground-level than the average Sakai or the Jakun, 
and that both of the latter races seem especially fond 

I70 HABITATIONS part ii 

of building their huts upon very lofty house-posts. 
Mr. Wray informs me that he has never seen in 
Perak a "bee-hive" hut, or even a tree-hut, made 
either by the Semang or by the Sakai, although at 
Kuala Dipang and elsewhere he has seen very tall 
tree-huts built by the Malays. 

The most interesting question, however, connected 
with this subject is undoubtedly that concerned with 
the successive steps by means of which the hut-type 
is evolved. 

Among the Semang its evolution is perhaps on the 
whole the clearest, the various stages being, as they 
appear to me, the following : — 

1. Natural shelters — rock -shelters, caves, tree 

buttresses, branches, etc. 

2. Artificial shelters or weather-screens — a single 

large palm-leaf, either planted in the ground 
or fixed across the fork of a tree. 

3. A number of such palm-leaves, planted in a 

straight row, or in a semicircle or circle, their 
tops drooping over towards a common centre, 
thus forming a " round " or ** bee-hive " hut 
— if in the fork of a tree, the hut's shape is 
naturally adapted to suit its branches.^ 

^ For one of the earliest ac- neighbourhood of this river, through 

counts of these tree-dweUingS our glasses, our notice was attracted by 

/^ ^ , r i_ ^ what seemed to be some enormous 

(treated from a somewhat sensa- birds' nests in the trees. The si<e of 

tional standpoint), see 7>Yiv^/aff^ these nests was prodigious, yet they 

Sport in Burmah^ Siam, and were not placed at a very great height 

Malay {sicX by Capt. J Bradley, J~«" ^»>« ground, nor in the tallest trees. 

/,Q*^\ TT^f^,*„Jr«*J« «.k^ «1 Th« number of them was seven, but we 

(1876). Unfortunately the ac concluded there were others noJ visible 

count is only of general interest, from our posiUon, We were puzzled 

as no means are afforded of to think what bird could construct nests 

even approximately identifying ^^ ^"^ »>»«» fo' ^^J appeared from our 

the locality. ^"^ f "^^^ ^""^ « "«J« tolefaWy. 

^ sized huts, and much the shape of 

*' While searching the country in the roughly constructed wigwams. While 

CHAP. Ill 



4. The " long " or " communal " shelter, which is 

nothing more than a round or " bee-hive " 
hut extended to form an ellipse or oval. 

5. Small granaries or store-huts on high posts, 

and perhaps also huts which commence to 
approach for the first time the Mala)ran hut- 
type, but are still built on the level of the 

6. A hut similar to the last, but with floor raised 

on posts (which makes it still more conform- 
able with the common Malayan hut-type). 

we were still speculating, the difficulty 
was aolved. A large ape was obsenred 
to leave one of the nests and descend 
to the ground ; and he was soon fol- 
lowed 1^ eis^t or nine others, who all 
walked about erect like men. We 
watched them for a long time, and saw 
them picking berries, or something else 
of a similar kind, from the bushes. 
Their actions were most human-like. 
They walked about exactly like men, 
and even appeared to be talking to each 
other. Several of them climbed the 
cocoa-palms in search of the nuts ; but 
they did not display that activity in 
ascending which disting^uishes most of 
the ape tribe. Their every motion was 
human in the extreme" (p. 292). 
Later, he discovers that the supposed 
" apes ** are men. 

[The mention of '< cocoa-palms "(!) 
b a strange circumstance requiring ex- 
plaoation, as none of these wild tribes 
plant coconuts, at least until they are a 
good deal more advanced in civilisation 
than these tribes otherwise appear to 
have been. It may of course have 
been that they were living in or near 
an abandoned Malay clearing, or that 
they were less wild than was supposed, 
or, most probably, I think, that the 
trees were not really coconut-palms. 
— W. S.] 

In a later passage we read : « They 
[the tree-huts] were from 30 to 50 feet 
[9-15 m.] from the ground, built in the 
lower branches of a species of large, 

wide-spreading tree, in general appear- 
ance very much like the oak. Access 
to them was gained by a number of 
notches cut in the tree-trunk, . . . 
and when we got amongst the branches 
we had to crawl out snake - fashion, 
to get at the huts, which were the 
shape of a bee -hive, though rather 
more pointed at the apex. They were 
constructed entirely of small branches 
and twigs tied together at the top, and 
bent round to form the hollow space in 
the interior. The height of each hut was 
about 6 ft.[ 1 80 cm.], the internal diameter 
about the same. The entrance was a 
hole in the side, so small that we could 
scarcely force our way in. The cordage 
with which the huts were constructed 
was made of some tough creeper, and 
the strands were so loosely twisted 
together that the least toudi parted 
them." — Bradley, pp. 297, 298. 

Elsewhere (J. B. pp. 319, 320) Capt. 
Bradley mentions a settlement of fifteen 
huts, "one or two" (he says) **in a 
tree." On pp. 330, 331 he mentions 
another of these tree-villages. ** It *' 
(the village) " consisted of five huts built 
in the trees, and seven hovels erected 
on the ground." "They were" (he 
continues) " built of branches like those 
described in a former chapter; but 
were overlaid with deer-sldns." 
Another settlement (described on p. 
315) had four tree -huts only in 

^ De Morgan, viii. 296. 


The last type of dwelling — and by no means the 
least interesting one — to find a place in these pages 
is that of the old " Orang Laut " of Singapore and 
Johor. These once most formidable pirates (who at 
that time dwelt exclusively in their boats) were the 
only inhabitants of the island of Singapore (which has 
now a population of over 200,000) on the memorable 
day of February (1819) when Sir Stamford Raffles 
landed to make a city out of what was then a mere 
desolate mangrove swamp. Contemporary and more 
recent writers give us a picture of the ** Orang Laut," 
and the extraordinarily restricted quarters in which they 
lived. Huddled up in a small boat, measuring scarcely 
twenty feet in length, they found all the domestic 
comfort of which they were in need. At one end was 
the hearth, in the centre their few utensils, and at the 
other end, beneath a matwork awning, not exceeding 
six feet in length, was the sleeping apartment of a 
family that often counted five or six, together with a 
cat and a dog. Under this awning they found shelter 
from the tropical rains and heats alike, from the time 
of their birth to the grave.^ 

I. — Semang. 

The Rock-shelter. 

Kedah Semang. — The Semang are almost in- 
eradicably nomadic, have no fixed habitations, and rove 
about like the beasts of the forest.* The wilder ones 
seldom stay more (they informed me) than three days 

* See Crawfurd, Dtscr, Dict.^ s,v, "Malay Peninsula.*' 
* y. /. .4. vol. iv. pp. 425, 426 


in one place/ Rock-shelters are also commonly used 
by them.* 

Pangan. — At Ban Tun, in the province of Pata- 
lung on the north-western shore of the Inland 
Sea (Singora), I visited one of these small rock- 
shelters which had been inhabited, up to the night of 
our arrival, by nine Pangans, who had only deserted 
it on hearing our approach. It was formed by a large 
overhanging rock under the brow of a very steep and 
lofty hill. Its size was very small, measuring only 
from about 9 to 12 feet (2.7 m. to 3.6 m.) in length by 
6 to 8 feet (1.8 m. to 2.4 m.) in width, and from about 
4 to 5 feet (1.2 m. to 1.5 m.) in height. Its position 
on a shoulder of the hill was very well chosen, as 
the ground fell away precipitously in front of it, and 
the only way to reach it was to go round by the back 
of the overhanging rock itself. The mouth of the 
cave was, moreover, further concealed and protected 
by a thicket of thorny bamboo, which grew at the 
more precipitous end. Altogether it was as difficult 
a spot to find without a guide as any which could have 
been selected. The sole article of furniture was one 
of the rough bamboo sleeping-stages, or " barbicans,'' 
which are to be seen in most Semang encampments,* 
and which are made by lashing half a dozen thick 
bamboo poles together. This particular bed, however, 
could not have accommodated more than one or two 

^ Among the E. SemaDg (Pangan) Semang are less particular than the 

it is an established custom to break up Pangan (Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 103). 

the existing encampment on the fifth ^ See a valuable note on this subject 

day at the latest. This custom is called by Mr. L. Wray {Cave-dwelUrsy p. 

"Jog," and is attributed to the com- 37). 

mands of Pie ; indeed, the days are ^ These most peculiar platforms or 

counted on the fingers, and it is believed *' bedsteads" are found also in the 

that if this custom be seriously in- Andamans, and (according to my friend 

fringed, a severe form of plague will Mr. Lorimer Fison) in Fiji ! I should 

attack the guilty parties. The \V. be glad to know of other examples. 

174 HABITATIONS part ii 

persons at most, and the other members of the family 
had evidently been sleeping on beds of heaped-up 
leaves, which were still quite green and fresh on our 
arrival. There were also the ashes of four separate 
fires, one at least of which had been extinguished by 
water ; and there were fragments of the ribs of a small 
tortoise on which they had been feeding, as well as a 
half-smoked (native) cigarette, an indication that they 
had probably had some traffic, either direct or through 
the medium of "tamer" fellow-tribesmen, with the 
Malays or Siamese of the locality. 


Perak Semang. — Another obvious kind of " natural 
shelter ** is that afforded by the branches of trees, the 
scanty protection thus obtained being speedily im- 
proved by the building of a weather-screen, out of 
which is easily and naturally developed the tree-built 
hut. The exact purpose served by those arboreal 
dwellings has been much disputed, but the most 
reasonable explanation — and I think undoubtedly the 
correct one — is that they are built for protection from 
wild beasts. In most cases the proximity of wild 
beasts is certainly their raison ditre. We are told,^ for 
instance, in so many words, that some of the Semang 
** in the thicker parts of the forest, where the elephants y 
tigers, and other wild animals are most abundant, make 
their temporary dwellings upon the cliffs and branches 
of large trees." * The simplest form of the tree-shelter 

1 y. /. A, vol. iv. 425, 426. their houses on the level of the ground. 

* Another possible cause (inunda- When, however, safeguarding against 

tions) is certainly suggested by the tigers is necessary, they build between 

following note (for which see Bastian, the branches of the trees, just as the 

RHsm in Birma, Leipzig, 1886, p. Puleahs build their nests in their 

432): — " The inhabitants of the hills forests." But in the Malay Penin- 

in Pegu, who are insured [by their sula this first reason would rarely if ever 

position] against inundations, build i^pply* 


consists of a screen of leaves fixed across the branches 
of the tree a little above the fork to serve as a roof. Usu- 
ally, however, side-screens are added, for comfort's sake. 

I am told by Mr. Wray that he once visited a 
Semang house in the Piah valley, in Upper Perak. 
It measured about 50 feet (15.2 m. x6 m.) in length 
by 20 feet in width, and was built on posts of such 
a height that the floor was 15 feet (4.5 m.) above 
the ground. There were three ladders on one side of 
the house to give access to it, and it appeared to have 
been inhabited by at least three families. Underneath 
it Mr. Wray found the bones of the wild pig, deer, 
and " s^ladang " {Bosgaurus, the wild bull or ** bison '*), 
as well as the horn of one of these latter animals. 

Pangan. — The Pangan tree-huts observed by 
Messrs. Ridley and Kelsall on the banks of the Ulu 
Tahan river in Pahang (in 1891) were "small roofed 
platforms, raised about 15 or 20 feet (4.5 m. to 
6 m.) from the ground," ^ and were reached (as Mr. 
Ridley tells me) by a ladder formed of sticks lashed 
across two neighbouring trees. 

Ground'Screens of Leaves. 
Semang and Pangan. — Yet another kind of shelter 
used by the Semang is the palm-leaf ground-screen,^ 
which is intended simply as a protection against rain 
and wind. It is constructed by planting three or four 
stout sticks or poles in a row in the ground at an 
angle of about 60** to 75**, and lashing palm-leaves 
across them so closely that the rain cannot penetrate.* 

^J,R.A,S,, S.B., No. 25, p. will frequently content himself with the 

45- shelter of a single palm-leaf planted in 

* It goes without saying that these the ground. 

sacens ^aiy in size and construction ^ Cp.Logan(y.^.^.i'., 5.^.,No. 7, 

according to the needs of the party. p. 85) : The '* temporary lairs '* (of the 

When a Semang is travelling alone, he Semang) are ** only protected from the 


Shelters of this type are also largely used by the 
Malays for temporary purposes, especially in the 
eastern states of the Peninsula. 

Pangan. — The next stage would appear to be that of 
the round or bee-hive hut. In the interior of Kelantan 
(near Kampong Biintal in Ulu Aring), Mr. Laidlaw 
and I visited several of these curious habitations. One 
that we photographed was a hemispherical leaf- 
shelter, very slenderly constructed, the materials em- 
ployed being leaves of the **bSrtam" palm {Eugeissana) 
and a Rattan or Calamus called " Rotan Dudok." The 
bases of the leaf-stalks were firmly planted in the ground, 
the upper ends of the leaves bending naturally over so as 
to protect about one-half of the hut-floor from the rain. 
The leaves planted round the circumference of the 
semicircle at the back of the shelter were of full length, 
but a slight fence of shorter leaves, about 2 feet (60 cm.) 
high, completed the circumference. At the back of 
the hut was the usual big abattis or chevaux-de-frise 
of felled trees, which is very generally formed by these 
people for protection against wild beasts. 

A slightly different type of hut was seen on the 
banks of the Tahan river by Mr. Ridley in 1891. The 
huts themselves consisted of a bee-hive-shaped structure 
of palm-leaves about 4 feet (1.2 m.) high, the bases of 
the leaves planted in the ground and their upper parts 
interwoven together. So far the structure was similar 
to those already described, but these particular huts 
" were completely filled with palm-leaves, in the midst 
of which could be seen the depression caused by the 
occupant when he curled himself up in them " either for 

weather by a few branches or leaves stuck in the ground, with a small cross- 
hung over two or three sticks.*' And piece, and a few leaves or branches of 
Cp. alaoy./.^. voL iv. pp. 425, 426 : trees laid over to secure them from the 
** Their huts . . . consist of two posts weather." 

i?. //. VappiSkeat Kxptdition). 

Pangan Weather Scrken of Palm Leaves (Ulu Kklantan). 

R. H. Yapp {Skeai Expedition). 

Interiur of Round Leaf-Shelter of Pangan (Ulu Kelantan) 

Vift. I. p. 176. 


of the 





of the 




rest or warmth. " There were altogether seven of 
these ' nests ' on the river-bank," ^ and the occupants, 
who were, I think, undoubtedly Pangan, had only just 
left them before his and his companion's arrival. 

Communal Shelters, 

Semang of Kedah. — From an ordinary round hut 
which will shelter one or two small families the transi- 
tion to an elongated shelter which will hold a greater 
number is not very difficult. The Semang shelter at 
Siong in Kedah accommodated all the members of the 
tribe who were living in the neighbourhood, and con- 
tained no fewer than eleven (?) sleeping-places arranged 
in two long rows ; it may therefore be described as 
being of the ** barrack " or " long-house " type. The 
upright timbers of this shelter consisted of young sap- 
lings planted in two opposite rows, across them being 
lashed the leaves of the "chenchAm,*' a low-growing 
palm not unlike the well-known **b€rtam** palm 
{Eugeissona tristis) in appearance, but which was 
declared by the Semang to be a different tree. The 
uprights of the shelter were called " pengkong,*' and 
the leaves lashed across them ** hapoi." There were, 
besides, two central posts or pillars (**jghu**), each about 
a third of the distance from either end of the shelter, 
and a dozen poles placed, as props or "wind-braces,'* 
in various positions and at various angles, in order to 
strengthen the structure and keep it from being blown 
over in a high wind.^ In front of the shelter at the 
upper end was a big opening which served as the 
main entrance, but there were in addition several 

* /. R. A, s., s, B., No. 25, p. 45. 
« "T^nungked," Plus dialect ; or **chenidel," Kedah. 


1 78 HABIT A TIONS part 11 

smoke-holes^ which were also used for ingress or ^ress 
as occasion might serve. The two slopes of the roof 
were not united over a ridge-pole, as in the ordinary 
(Malay) house, but a longitudinal aperture was left be- 
tween them for about two-thirds of the entire length of 
the roof, and through the gap thus caused the greater 
part of the smoke from the many fireplaces issued. 
All round the walls were ranged a number of 
^ bamboo sleeping-platforms, consisting of a framework 
of split bamboos, each end of which was supported by 
a horizontal slat or rod.* These latter were in turn 
supported on low forked wooden trestles called 
"jongka.** These bed-platforms were between 5-6 
ft. (1.5 m. to 1.8 m.) in length by about 3 ft. (.91 m.) 
in breadth ; and their exact position was as shown in 
the accompanying diagram. Young men of the tribe 
slept near the main opening or door, and the chief 
at the upper end as shown. 

I may add that the owner of each sleeping-platform 
or family unit possessed a separate fire or hearth, over 
which he used to sit and warm himself when the nights 
were cold. On the other hand, I never saw any kind 
of pillow, either in the houses of the Semang of Kedah 
or in those of the Pangan. 


Kedah Semang. — We now come to the last class 
of Semang dwellings in which they begin to build 
huts of a rather more substantial character than those 
hitherto described, apparently, in the first instance, 
to serve as store-houses. An excellent example of this 
was to be seen in the Semang encampment at Siong 

I «• Karop ? " Plus ; or " pcmong ? " Kedah. 
2 " KWing," Plus dUlect ; or "pelayen," Kedah. 

Semano at Ulu Jelkntoh, Gopeng, Kinta, with Nipah-Palms [Xipa fruticans) 
IN Background, newly cut for Thatchwork. 

I'^L /. /. 178. 

Skmang standing at sidk of Hut (at Sungei Tafah), nkar Batu Gajah, Kinta. Peraf 

The hut shows one of the methods of interweaving palm leaves. 

Vii.I.p. 179. 


in Kedah, where, side by side with the long ** communal " 
shelter in which the tribe lived, stood a tiny granary 
in which their scanty stores of rice were preserved. 
This little granary stood on six thin posts, the floor 
being raised about 4-5 ft. (1.2 m. to 1.5 m.) from the 
ground, for the purpose of protecting its contents 
from small marauders. It measured about 4 ft. in 
length by about 3 ft. (1.2 m. x .91 m.) in width, and 
was little more in fact than a large box on posts. Its 
walls were made of tree -bark, and the roof was 
thatched with the leaf of the **bgrtam*' palm, and 
it was entered by a tiny doorway to which access was 
afforded by a long inclined pole. From the stage in 
which these tiny huts were used solely for the pur- 
poses of istorage, to one in which they could be used 
as dwellings, the transition would be as easy and as 
natural as possible. 

On the other hand, it must here be remarked that 
although in this way they may sometimes come to 
dwelling — in Malayan fashion — in a hut with raised 
flooring, the Semang nevertheless appear to retain a 
strong predilection for building their huts either 
altogether aloft in trees, or else upon the level of the 
ground itself.^ 

Perak Semang. — Direct evidence of huts with raised 
flooring being inhabited by pure Semang is very scanty. 
The Semang village mentioned by De Morgan prob- 
ably belonged to this latter (more developed) class, 
especially as he describes it as standing in the midst 

1 The huts built by the Paogan seem carry about with them when they move to 

rather Intended for the purpose of their next camping-place. These huts 

storing supplies {fi,g. rice) than for are always set up in the thickest part of 

r^ular occupation. Five or six of the jungle, and by way of further precau- 

these huts are usually built in one place, tioh the articles left behind are frequently 

and the Paogan leave such articles of marked with special signs. — ^V.-St. iiu 

property there as they do not wish to 102, 103. 

i8o HABITATIONS part ii 

of an immense plantation (** un vaste jardin "), which 
seems to imply some degree of permanence. All he 
says of the houses, however, is that they ** were con- 
structed on a level with the ground,** and ** were open 
to all the winds that blow," and that the Semang 
protected themselves at night against the attacks of wild 
beasts by means of great ** braziers '* {sic) which they 
light up under their roofJ On the whole, it seems 
that the Semang take much less readily than the Sakai 
to the Malayan custom of building their huts on piles. 
Among the Semang of Perak (Menik) no one uses 
any special kind of pillow, whether of wood or of any 
other material. Often they use no pillow at all, and 
if they do, the first thing that comes to hand (such as 
a bundle of grass or twigs), or the arm will be used.- 

II. — Sakai. 
Shelters and Tree-huts. 

Perak SakaL — The wild tribes of the Perak Hills 
(Sakai Bukit), according to what De la Croix was 
told by the tame Sakai of S. Kerbu, are seldom met 
with, as they do not live in villages, and build no 
houses, but when night arrives they either sleep in 
the shade of a tree, or (at the most) hurriedly erect a 
shelter of leaves.* 

Selanpor Sakai. — The Sakai, like the Semang, 
make use of caves as well as trees to dwell in. Mr. 
Ridley informs me that he once saw an excellent 
example consisting of a rock-shelter which he visited 

1 Dc Morgan, viii. 296. ever, seems to have been hearsay, and 

* Z,f, E. xxix. 186. Elsewhere (p. Mr. Wray informs me that the Sakai 

iS7),V. -St. says that the wild Semang of the Perak Hills build very good 

(Pangan)alonedonot use the pillow con- houses (q). VH, ii. 646), which prob- 

sisting of a cloth bog stuffed with cotton. ably accounts for De M.'s much too 

3 De la Croix, p. 340. This, how- sweeping difftenti {LH, iii. 43). 







Sakai Trkk Hut. Singki Hkrang, Pkrak, Skvkn Milks from Tanjong Malim. 

Vol. I. p. 181. 


at the Batu caves seven miles from Kuala Lumpur in 
Selangor. Here, as in the Semang rock- shelters, were 
the remains of a bamboo bed-place, and in addition 
there were screens of palm-leaves which had been put 
up as a protection against the weather. In this rock- 
shelter, as in others in the same district, the walls 
were decorated with rough charcoal sketches of well- 
known objects, e,g. boats, etc. Excavations were made 
in the floor of this rock-shelter on the chance of finding 
traces of earlier occupation, but nothing was found 
except a round stone evidently brought from the river 
to support a cooking-pot. 

In spite of the foregoing, however, both rock- 
shelters and palm-leaf wind-screens appear to be less 
popular with the Sakai than with the Semang, and 
there are few records, if any, of their employment of 
the bee-hive type of hut, at all events beyond the 
limits of Negrito influence. So far as I have been 
able to discover, the huts of the pure-bred Sakai are, 
as a rule, rectangular in plan. 

Tree-huts, on the other hand, analogous to those 
already described as used by the Semang, are certainly 
to be seen among the Inland (Sakai) Tribes of 
Selangor at least. On an expedition to Ulu Kali in the 
interior of Selangor in 1893, ^ myself saw two of these 
Sakai tree-huts, one of which must have been from 
30-40 ft. (9 m. to 12 m.) from the ground. Both must 
have been very nearly the same size, about 6 ft. by 
4 ft. (1.8 m. X 1.2 m.), and not more than 4 ft. in height/ 

1 Of the same district Mr. William huts high up against the trees, usually 

T. Homaday says : •* We were at Batu fifteen to twenty feet from the ground, 

in the durian season, and often visited to get out of the way of wild beasts, 

the trees in the forest when the Malays But the rascally elephants often take 

were collecting the fruit as fast as it the trouble to pull down even those 

fell. Like the Jakun, they build little high platforms and frighten the in- 




Huts and Houses. 

Perak Sakai. — The Sakai in commencing to build 
their huts with rather more reference to Malay 
models still retain the communal idea. One of these 
Sakai communal houses, described by Hale,^ was built 
on a slope, close to the summit of a lofty hill. The 
thatching of the roof (with leaves of the bfirtam palm) 
was a clumsy imitation of Malayan methods. The 
floor of the house, which was raised above the ground, 
rested upon nine posts, eight of inconsiderable and 
one of very great diameter, which was, in fact, the 
trunk of a large tree. Every other part of the house 
was entirely built of bamboo.^ The walls consisted of 
long screens of sheet-thatch, which were suspended 
loosely at their upper ends under the eaves, so that 
the lower ends could be pushed open outwards. The 

habitants half out of their wits. The 
herds to which we paid our respects 
had just the night before visited several 
durian camps, and had torn down the 
highest platform of all, as if to show 
the Malays that it was of no use trying 
to build a hut out of their reach. Of 
course the Malays fled to the jungle. 
There are several lai^e caves in the 
vicinity, and the Jakun are in the 
habit of taking refuge in them when 
the elephants become too neighbourly " 
{J,R,A,S., S,B., No. 3, p. 128). 
Batu is a small village six miles from 
Kuala Lumpur in Selangor. Mr. 
Homaday is probably here writing of 
the Inland or Hill Sakai. The 
Jakun are really the savage Malayan 
tribes, but the word is often used 
loosely, especially by Malays (as here). 

' P. 249. So too, according to De 
Morgan, the entire tribe of Sakai at 
Changak (?Changkat) Kerbu (in Ulu 
Perak) lived in a big house which they 
shared in common. 

The house was divided into com- 
partments, where the various families 

were separately installed, the hearths, 
however, being shared in common, and 
placed in the centre of the building. 
The room of the chief (Penghulu) was 
much better kept than the others, the 
sleeping - places of flattened bamboo 
being covered with mats decorated with 
yellow patterns ; all the blowpipes of 
the tribe were suspended from the 
rafters, and big bamboos covered with 
decoration were deposited in the comers 
to supply him with water (De Morgan, 

J. 43). 

2 Mr. Hale, however, very rightly 
points out that the Sakai are very 
ready to adapt themselves to circum- 
stances in the matter of material. Thus 
elsewhere Mr. Wray remarks that the 
leaves of fan -palms are used by the 
Sakai to thatch their houses, and that, 
owing to the extreme hardness of the 
stems, they are not in the habit of 
cutting the palms down when felling 
the jungle for their clearings, which 
probably accounts for their great abund- 
ance (/. i^. >/. 5., S,B., No. 21, p. 

Trke Hut, Ulu Batu, about Twelvk Milks fk(;m Kuala Lumpur, SKLANf;oR. 

;'.'/. /. /. 183. 


house in question was more than an hour's climb from 
water. It was surrounded by a clearing of about two 
acres in extent, where tapioca, maize, sugar-cane, and 
tobacco were grown. The house contained sixteen 
inhabitants, divided into six distinct family units, each 
of which had its own hearth. In the case of a man 
having two wives, each wife had her own hearth, 
marked out by means of a low partition of split 
bamboos. There was a door in the end-wall, and also 
an outlet in the slope of the roof.^ 

On the other hand, the Sakai huts observed in Ulu 
Kinta by De Morgan are described as being built 
very far apart from each other, and situated in the 
midst of immense plantations of tapioca, ** sorgho " (?) 
and maize, from which it may possibly be deduced 
that they were on rather less strictly communal 
principles. De Morgan was invited to enter the 
Penghulu's hut, which was, like those at S. Raya, built 
at a height of about 1.50 m. from the ground. It was 
very small, but very clean. Blowpipes, arrows, and a 
spear hung from the roof, and it contained many betel- 
leaf-wallets, necklaces, nets, lines, and a small but 
highly decorated piece of bamboo, the use of which 
was for carrying the worms used in rod-fishing.* 

In another place. De la Croix, in describing the 
Sakai village of Kampong Chabang, in the upper 
reaches of S. Kerbu (a tributary of the Plus river in 
Perak, which is a few miles further north than Ulu 
Kinta), remarks that the village consisted of a dozen 
huts, erected in the midst of a clearing, on the banks 
of the river. The chiefs hut (the largest) was built 
upon piles, and measured ten metres in length by five 

1 Hale, p. 294. ii. 645, for illustrations showing ground- 

' De Morgan, viii. 167. Cp. VH, plan and elevations of a Sakai hut. 

1 84 HABJTA TIONS part ii 

metres in breadth. The flooring, consisting of flattened 
tree-bark, was raised about a metre above the ground. 
Both the walls and the roof with its double slope were 
constructed alike of broad strips of bark, which afforded 
an excellent shelter from the floods of rain that fell in 
the wet season. A notched tree-trunk served as house- 
ladder for giving access to the interior of the building.* 

In the middle of the only room was placed a hearth 
consisting of a thick layer of clay deposited in a (square) 
wooden frame. This was the hearth ("dapor") of Malay 
houses. A few pots and receptacles of various kinds 
containing provisions were hung upon the walls. The 
remaining huts were all of the same type, except two 
or three whose side-walls were made of matwork, in 
imitation of the Malays.- 

Pahang Sakai. — A graphic description of the 
mountain hut of a Sakai by Mr. L. Wray is interest- 
ing from the fact that the locality referred to is in 
the far interior of Pahang. 

Mr. Wray wrote' that the house (in the Tahan 
valley) in which he passed the night was a large and 
well-built one, and seemed to be occupied by two 
families. It was at an elevation of about 4000 feet 
(1225 m.), and being perched on the top of a cleared 
hill fully exposed to the winds, he found it very cold. 

Hanging up in the house were strings of the lower 
jaws of monkeys, musangs, and other animals, and in 
another house he saw bunches of hornbill skulls. 
These were kept hanging up in the smoke as trophies, 
in the same way as the Dayaks keep human heads in 
their houses. Another custom which seemed to point 

' De la Croix, pp. 322, 323. Brau fifteen families in the same place (pp. 

de S. P. Lias, in writing of the Sakai 279, 280). 
of Sungei Kerbu, adds that they ' Ibid. 

always lived in groups of from ten to •/. R, A, S,^ S, B,, No. 21, p. 162. 

Transverse Section. 

Longitudinal Section. 



\ jj.. - ' ■■ 


Dc Morgan. 

Sakai House at Changkat Kerbu or Kokbi'. 

y^L I. /. 184. 

Hn(.>ii: OK Akmhiuim-is at KlaI-V Si^l.lm, L'ia' Klan<;. 


Hits at Dl^rian Chanuong, Ulu Langat, aboit Thrf.e Miles abovf. Kll'bi, bl't on 
A Tributary of the Langat. Men absent Hunting. 

Vol. /. /. 185. 


to a connection between the two races was that they 
kept large fires burning in the centre of their houses 
during the night, and that it was only during the first 
part of the night that they slept, after that they sat up 
round the fire and talked till morning.^ 

Hut Furniture — Pillows. 

Perak Sakai. — It appears that pillows were much 
more generally used by the Sakai than by the Semang. 
The pillow of the Central Sakai (Senoi) men was 
always an internode of bamboo, through each extremity 
of which four small round pegs were driven. The 
pillows of the women were the same, but they were 
usually fitted with a pair of pegs or ** feet ** pointed at 
both ends, so that by a blow they could be driven into 
the hole at the end or taken out. For this purpose part 
of the node was cut away, in order to allow the inside of 
the tube to be reached. Small objects that the women 
used for their toilet or for other purposes were kept in 
the interior of these bamboo pillows ; and by means of 
the •' feet " they were prevented from falling out again.^ 

These pillows were of various patterns, which 
differed with the tribe. The Central Sakai (Senoi), 
who always appear to have had a somewhat more 
artistic feeling than the other Sakai (Blandas), say 
that their bamboo pillows were formerly ornamented 
with incised lines or '* painted " emblems,' but that 
these are all now forgotten, and the form of pillow 
now universally employed is a kind of stuff-bag or 
pillow filled with cotton. This new form of pillow, 
however, could only be used when the tribe became 
more settled. So long as they remained entirely 

> Wray in /. R, A, .S., S, A, No. « Z./. E, xxix. (V.-St.) 186. 

21, p. 162. 3 In original, ** painted totems"! 

i86 • HABITATIONS part ii 

nomadic, bulky things, such as these pillows, could 
not be carried with them ; and if the present cotton- 
filled pillows were left a week in a house uncared for, 
termites and other vermin would injure them; even if 
damp and mould did not do so.^ 

The bamboo pillows referred to formed part of the 
furniture of the house, and when not being used lay 
together in a corner.^ 

III. — Jakun. 

Blandas. — As far as I was able to discover, the 
Blandas (Hill Tribes of the Kuala Langat district in 
Selangor) seldom if ever dwelt in leaf-shelters, and 
the only important difference between their houses 
and those of the Besisi — which will presently be de- 
scribed — lay in the far greater relative height of the 
wooden posts on which the Blandas house was built. 
These high-built huts of the Blandas were frequently 
entered by means of a movable ladder, which was re- 
moved when they went abroad into the forest. Their 
traditional pillow was a block of ** pulai " {alstonia, a 
soft, cork-like wood). 

Besisi. — On the other hand, although I never 
came across an instance of a Blandas family living in 
a tree-hut, I think there is practically no doubt that 
the Besisi, who had a relatively larger proportion of 
Semang blood in them, did occasionally do so. At 
S. Nipah (in the very same district of Selangor) I 
once knew a soi-disant Malay family (in reality they 
were Besisi converts) who lived in a tree-hut some 20 
ft. to 30 ft. (6 m. to 9 m.) from the ground, and on one 
occasion I climbed up to have a look at it. The **hut" 
itself was a tiny shelter about 6 ft. (1.8 m.) in length, 

» Z.f, E, xxix. (V.-St.) 187, 188. 2 lb. 




-,, — ^ — ■ : — ^ k — : 





1^ *'.^^ 

T#^-^3fi>:. .;. 

__.> ~ 



i -H .; 



■ \ 




Sakai House, Lui River, Ulu Langat, Selangor. 

Noticf the height of the house-posts. 



Ground Hut with thatched Roof, Ulu Kuang, about Three Miles from 
KuANG Station, Selangor. 
Vol. r. /. 1 86. 

F. M. FMiot. 

Besisi Huts about One and a Half Miles from Sepang, 

showing abattis of trees felled as a protection against wild T>easts. 

F. M, EllioU 

Besisi Hut about One and a Half Miles pkom Sepang (Kuala Langat 
District of Selangok), showing overlapping Gable-Ridge. 

1 was myself inside this hut when it was taken. 

Vol. I. p. 187. 


by 4 ft. (1.2 m.) in width, and was not more than three 
or four feet high. The walls and roof were made of the 
Malay palm-leaf awning ("kajang"), and it contained a 
small sleeping-mat and mosquito-curtain (an unlooked- 
for luxury in so poor an abode), and a few cooking 
and other utensils. A man and his wife lived there, 
but I cannot say whether they had any children. Both 
happened to be very short, I should say not more than 
4J^ ft. (1.37 m.), but I should much doubt whether 
either of them could stand upright in it. The method 
of entering it was enough to try the nerves of any 
one that was at all inclined to be dizzy. The ascent was 
achieved by means of the rudest and most primitive 
stick- ladder imaginable, a large creeper that grew 
upon the tree affording some slight additional assist- 
ance. On reaching the top of this ladder, one had to 
rest one's elbows upon the floor of the shelter, and 
swing one's self up into safety by main force. The 
descent was, if anything, the more trying process of 
the two, yet the Malays did not appear to mind it. 

The actual houses of the Besisi in this same district 
were built of timber and palm-thatch like the houses 
of the local Malays, but had several peculiar points 
about them. The slopes of the roof-gable, for one 
thing, were carried much lower than in an ordinary 
Malay house, and in some cases at least the eaves 
were actually level with the floor. 

Another characteristic feature was that one of the 
slopes of the gable was frequently carried much higher 
than the other, so as to overlap and leave a gap 
through which smoke could issue, without the rain 
penetrating too easily. In the Malay type of house, 
the upper edges of the two roof-slopes meet at the 
top, and the rain is kept out by an arrangement called 

i88 HABITATIONS part ii 

" pgrabong/' which covers over the gap between the 

The houses are exceedingly diminutive, much 
more so, in proportion to their inhabitants, than 
Malay houses ; in fact, I saw many among the Besisi 
that were little more than boxes. They are usually 
thatched with palm-leaves loosely strung together, the 
kind of leaves usually employed being either those of 
the fan-palm or the " b^rtam " palm. A few of these 
houses were supported on fairly high posts, higher 
than those of Malay houses. The Besisi, who carry 
the eaves of their huts down to the level of the floor, 
generally use, however, very short house-posts. 

The joists are tied together with split rattan or 
other strong lashings, and each settlement, however 
small, is as a rule defended by an abattis of fallen trees. 
The Besisi often, perhaps in imitation of the Malays, 
erect a sort of landing of split ** nibong " stems in 
front of the door whereon to winnow their grain. 

The house of one of the Batins or big chiefs of 
the Besisi (Batin Suntai by name) was described to 
me in one of their tribal songs as follows : — 

Song ok the Batin's Hut. 

** K^pong '* bark was all its roofing, 
** Bertam " leaves were all the side- walls, 
** Bertam " stems were all the flooring, 
** Loyak '' stems were all its pillars. 
Such the house of Batin Suntai, 
At ** Nine- Rivers," up the Kalis, — 
Durian-wood did form his pillow, 
T^eaves of ** lemba *' were hb dishes. 
His the beaten tree-bark girdle. 

The pillow generally used by the Besisi is said to 
have been a block of hard wood, without feet, concave 
on the upper side, and convex on the lower,^ and cut 

^ In the original it is described as take and an impossibility, which is 
being convex on the upper side, and clearly due to some confusion, 
concave underneath, an obvious mis- 


off squarely at the ends. It differs from the Jakun 
and Blandas pillow, the wood of which was very soft.^ 

The Balai. 

BesisL — Before leaving the subject of Besisi huts I 
must not omit to mention the important fact that there 
were among these Jakun tribes traces of the use of a 
Tribal Hall, such as is always attached to the house 
of a Malay chief, and is called ** Balai " both by Jakun 
and Malays. On the occasion of a Besisi wedding, 
the Besisi of Ayer Itam (on the Selangor coast) had 
built a hall of this kind at right angles to the house of 
their tribal chief or Batin (thus forming a sort of ** T "- 
shaped building in which the ** Balai " formed the 
downstroke of the ** T'*). Such Balais are frequently 
mentioned in Besisi songs, and I think there is very 
little doubt that we do not find here a simple instance of 
borrowing from the Malays, but rather an example of a 
custom sprung from their common origin. The building 
in question was erected by the voluntary labour of all 
the men of the tribe (just as would have been the case 
if it had been built by a Malay chief), and it was large 
enough to contain about sixty to seventy people or 
more (the members of the tribe itself numbering about 
sixty). It was opposite the door of this building that 
the bell-shaped mound which was explained to me as 
the religious emblem of the tribe ^ was thrown up. 
And it was inside this same building that the various 
tribal feasts took place. 

Labu Tribes. — Their dwellings are the simplest and 

^ Z,f,E. xxix. 186. See p. 186, supra^ and p. 195, infia. 
^ Cp. vol. ii. pp. 72-74. 


190 HABITATIONS part 11 

rudest that can be imagined. Rowland, in writing of 
the Labu tribe that he observed, mentions that when 
they had deserted the house built by his coolies, with 
its raised sleeping-platforms, he found them again in 
the interior of the jungle (instead of at the edge), 
and that every married man (or bachelor) had built 
V for himself a small round hut on the level of the 
ground. Each of these huts was entirely constructed 
of the leaves of the ** bgrtam " palm {Eugeissona tristis. 
Griff.), measuring about two or three metres in length, 
the stalks of which were planted close together in the 
ground, so as to form a circle of about two metres in 
diameter; the extremities of the leaves met at the 
top, but gave only a scanty shelter from the rain. 
The people in these huts lived upon the ground itself, 
which is always moist in the jungle, and generally 
considered to be unhealthy, and in heavy rain were 
not protected from flooding even by a ditch round the 
hut. Yet in these huts they soon recovered from 
their fevers and coughs, and regained their usual 
serenity. These huts stood close together, a few steps 
from a brook.^ 

Hut Furniture. 

KenaboL — The Kenaboi, who appear determined 
in this as in many other things to take a different line 
from the Sakai, to which race Vaughan-Stevens says 
he assigns them,^ made their pillows of split lengths 
of bamboo cut square at each end, the lengths being 
interwoven with one another " in and out." ' The 
interior served the women for holding small objects, 

^ Rowland, p. 708. have Semang affinities. 

' This begs the entire question. It ' An obscure and obviously in- 

is more probable that the Kenaboi may accurate description. 


such as combs and medicines. The exact patterns 
were said to be lost.^ 

Huts and their Furniture. 

Hantra. — Of the Mantra huts, M. Borie says that 
their dwellings scarcely kept out the rain, and were 
open to every wind, most frequently being without 
either doors or windows. The best of them consisted 
of nine posts, of which three were about a third longer 
than the six others. These nine posts were strongly 
planted in the ground in three rows, with the long 
posts in the centre ; these posts were then united at 
the top by means of longitudinal and transverse 
timbers lashed together by means of rattans ; upon 
these timbers were placed rafters ^ to sustain the roof, 
which was made of leaves ; and the floor, which was 
generally raised several feet above the ground, was 
formed by laying laths across the longitudinal and 
transverse timbers and covering these laths with the 
bark of trees ; the sides were similarly more or less 
covered in either with leaves or tree-bark.* 

The following articles were found in a compara- 
tively well-fumished Mantra hut, which was occupied 
by two men, two women, and two children. 
There were two blowpipes (** sumpitan '*), several 
choppers and axes, two torch-stands, two iron pans, 
two earthenware pots, two wallets or back-baskets 
(" sgntong "), a kind of basket termed by the Malays 
"garing," two plates, two cups, five small tea-cups, 
four earthenware spoons, seven " sarongs," three jackets 
("baju"), three pairs of trousers ("sgluar"), four 
waist-bands, four headkerchiefs, one pair of ear- 

' Z.f, E, xxix. 187. * In original, "shingles" {sic), 

* Bone (tr. Bourien), p. 76. 

192 HABITATIONS part ii 

Studs (" subang **), three hair-pins, and three copper 

Shelters and Tree-huts. 

Jakun. — Of the tree-huts of the Jakun M. Borie 
says, that however poor might be the huts of the 
Mantra, those of the Jakun were still more primitive ; 
it was their custom to perch their domicile on trees, 
sometimes at a height of from 25 ft. to 35 ft. (7.6 m. to 
10.6 m.) from the ground ;^ most commonly, however, 
they were only about twenty feet from the ground, and 
were ascended by means of a ladder, which even their 
dogs became accustomed to climbing.* 

On the other hand, some members of the tribe 
would construct their huts at a height of no more than 
3 ft. or 4 ft. (.91 m. to 1.2 m.) from the ground. Like 
the Mantra, they lived, ate, and slept on the main 
floor of the building. At one side of it was the hearth, 
on which a fire was always kept burning to drive away 
mosquitoes, and they used the loft for putting away their 
weapons, their provisions, and their cooking utensils.* 

Jakun of N. Sembllan. — The best houses of the 
Negri Sembilan Jakun were about the same as the 
poorer and ruder houses belonging to the Jakun of 
Johor, but others were, as described by Newbold, 
rude edifices perched on the top of four high wooden 
poles ; thus elevated for fear of tigers, and entered by 
means of a long ladder, and presenting, when viewed 
through certain holes which served as doors, no very 
satisfactory appearance to the uninitiated. The roofs 
were often thatched with "chucho" leaves. There was 
but one room, in which the whole family was huddled 
together, with their dogs and the bodies of such animals 

* J. I, A, vol. i. p. 254. and even more. 

^ Bigandet {p. 427) says 60 feet ^ Borie (tr. Bourien), p. 76. * lb. 


as they might have caught. They were interdicted, by 
one of their singular rules, from using any other wood 
than that of the " pgtaling " and "jambu k'lat" in the 
construction of these huts. The huts were made so as 
to be movable at a moment's warning ; on the appear- 
ance of small -pox, or any other contagious disorder, 
a whole encampment would vanish in the course of a 
single night. The huts were ordinarily situated on 
the steep side of some forest -clad hill, or in some 
sequestered dale, remote from any frequented road or 
footpath, and with little plantations of yams, plantains, 
and maize about them (some also had fields of rice). 
The bones and hair of the animals whose flesh the 
inmates might have been feeding upon strewed 
the ground near them, whilst numbers of dogs — 
generally of a light brown colour — gave timely notice 
of the approach of strangers.^ 

Jakun of Malacca. — The Malacca Jakun(or"Benua"), 
characterised by Favre as the most ignorant, were the 
poorest and most miserable, their best houses being 
about the same as the worst of those of the Menang- 
kabaus ;* indeed Favre found several families who lived 
without houses at all. These latter, gathering them- 
selves together to the number of five or six families, 
would choose a place in the thickest of the forest, and 
there clear a circle about 25-30 ft. (7.6 m. to 9 m.) in 
diameter ; having cleared this space, they would sur- 
round it with the branches of trees they had just cut ; 
to this they would add other thorny branches collected 
from other parts, and so make a sort of bulwark 
against tigers, bears, and panthers, which were present 
in good numbers. Having done this, they would pro- 
ceed to establish their dwelling in the enclosure thus 

1 Newbold, voL ii. p. 404. ^ Le, Inlaod Malays near Malacca. 



formed in the following way; each family worked to con- 
struct what would afford them a bed during the night, 
a seat in the day-time, a table for their repasts, and a 
shelter in bad weather ; it consisted of about fifteen 
or twenty thin poles about 6 ft. (1.8 m.) long, which 
were laid the one beside the other, and supported at the 
two extremities by two transverse sticks set upon four 
wooden posts; the completed structure being about 
two feet in height, four feet in breadth, and six feet in 
length. A dozen leaves of the "chucho" gathered 
together by their ends, and tied up at the head of the 
bed, extended over it and covered it from end to end. 
These beds were placed all round the enclosure, in such 
a position that when all the occupants were sleeping 
every one lay with his feet directed towards the centre 
of the hut, which was purposely left vacant, to serve 
either as a place for cooking, or for any other purpose.^ 
Jakun of Johor. — Before Favre himself visited the 
Jakun, report had induced him to consider them (he 
says) as savage as wild beasts, and as sleeping like 
birds on the branches of trees. Even afterwards 
when he questioned the Malays on the subject, some 
of them answered as before ; but this was far fi:x)m 
being the truth, as there was no Jakun without some 
sort of more or less well-ordered dwelling. Some of 
them indeed had habitations which could scarcely be 
called houses ; but these were very few ; and for the 
most part they had houses. The Jakun of Johor 
built houses in the Malay manner, some of them being 
"fine buildings." Favre found several which were 
much more comfortable than any Malay house he had 
seen in the interior of Johor ; such were the houses 

* Translated iny. /. A. vol. ii. pp. 250, 257. For the original, see Favre in 
Ann, P. /'. xxii. 301. 


of the Penghulu Bat in on the Johor river, and that of 
a Jakun chief on the Benut river. These two houses 
were divided into several rooms, some of which were 
for the private accommodation of the Jakun women« 
and the furniture consisted of a few pots, plates, 
several other similar vessels, and a good quantity of 
mats. Other houses were much more ordinary, but 
were yet pretty comfortable and clean, and were 
always divided into two or three rooms at least, and 
furnished with an iron frying-pan for cooking rice in, 
a few coconut-shells for holding water, and baskets 
for carrying food. All these houses were raised about 
6 ft. (1.8 m.) from the ground, and were entered by a 
ladder like the Malay houses.^ 

House Furniture — Pillows. 

Jakun (district unspecified). — The Jakun pillow was, 
unlike the others, made of soft wood, probably because 
it could in that case be made without iron tools. It 
was always convex at the sides and underneath, but 
concave at the top, and was often stained red, yellow, 
or black. These colours were obtained, the red from a 
tree-bark, the yellow from a root, and the black from 
a mixture of oil and charcoal. The yellow appears 
from the description to be the Malay **kunyit" or 
turmeric — a well-known root. The particular tree 
which gave the red is not known, although there are 
several trees whose bark gives a red colour. 

It was the log-pillows of the women which were 
most carefully stained. Those of the men were used 
during the day for all sorts of purposes, e.g. as a float 
for a crocodile line, in which case their dark colour 

* /. /. A. vol. ii. pp. 255, 256. 

196 HABITATIONS part ii 

makes them easily visible, and hence soon shows where 
the crocodile has gone after swallowing the bait. The 
above type of pillow, however, is never seen now ; 
stuff-pillows filled with cotton having replaced it.^ 

Houses and House Furniture, 

Benua-Jakun of Johor. — According to Logan, 
the houses of the Benua of Johor varied greatly in 
size, neatness, and finish. They were much slighter 
and more primitive than the huts of the Malays, the 
greater part consisting only of one small room raised on 
thin posts made of saplings, with a rough flooring 
of small sticks placed at irregular distances, and some- 
times with such large gaps between them that children 
were liable to fall through. The sides were made of 
bark,^ and were generally enclosed all round, but 
sometimes they had only a piece of bark here and 
there, and Logan himself slept in houses three sides 
of which were quite open. A rude and very narrow 
and steep ladder led to an open doorway. The roof 
was covered with leaves, commonly those of the 
" sfirdang," which answer as well as the leaves of the 
nipah palm, but last only half as long. The leaves of 
the" Palas'* and other palms were also occasionally used, 
and Logan was told that even padi-straw was some- 
times collected for thatch. The floor was constructed 
at various heights from 5-9 ft. (1.5 m. to 2.7 m.) above 
the ground. In localities where elephants abounded it 
was generally high. Houses of greater pretensions 
were sometimes to be seen. On the Pau, Logan visited 
a house which, under one roof, had a large hall with an 

1 Z./. E, xxix. (V.-St.) p. 189. chiefly used for this purpose, both in 

' The bark of the "kcpong" was Johor and by the Berembun tribes. 


elevated recess facing the door, where guests sat 
during the day and slept at night. At the sides were 
two large rooms and a long narrow apartment with 
two fireplaces and an array of cooking utensils. An 
open platform, a foot or two below the level of the 
floor, connected the hall with two other bedrooms 
under a separate roof. At Paya Sandar, near the 
Sembrong, he visited another large cottage which, in 
addition to bedrooms which were partitioned off, had 
several recesses with curtains of coarse cloth hung before 
them. Sleeping mats and pillows were in every house.^ 

Berembun Tribes. — The Berembun tribes had mats, 
but as a rule no pillows or curtains. Coarse Chinese 
curtains were general, but were often lacking, and 
where this was the case the whole family, with the 
guests, slept in one and the same open apartment, and 
were sometimes packed rather closely together. There 
were usually two fireplaces, and these, in the larger 
huts, were sometimes in a separate room, but they 
were in general at one side of the single apartment, 
where the floor was depressed by about a foot.* 

Udai. — According to Newbold, the Udai were said 
rarely to construct huts. They employed the day in 
roaming the forest, and sank down to rest wherever 
fatigue or the shades of night overtook them.* 

Orang Laut or Sea-Jakun. 

Orang Laut, Sletar. — The Sletar tribe of the Orang 
Laut, though confining their wanderings to a limit of 
some 30 m. sq. (7500 hectares), might still be considered 
highly nomadic. In boats (or ** sampans") barely 
sufficient to float their load, they would skirt the man- 

* /. /. A. vol. i. pp. 253, 254. « lb. 3 Newbold, ii. 381, 382. 

193 HABITATIONS part ii 

groves, collecting their food from the shores and 
forests as they proceeded, exhausting one spot and 
then searching for another. To one accustomed to 
the comforts and wants of civilisation, their life ap- 
peared to be one of extreme hardship. Huddled up 
in a small boat hardly measuring 20 ft. (6 m.) in 
length, they yet found in it all the domestic comfort 
they were in want of; at one end was the fire- 
place, in the middle the few utensils of which they 
might be in possession, and at the other end beneath 
a network awning (or "kajang"), not exceeding six 
feet in length, was the sleeping apartment of a 
family numbering as many as five or six, together 
with a cat and dog; under this awning they took 
shelter from the dews and rains of the night, and from 
the heat of the day. Even the Malays in pointing 
out these confined quarters exclaimed "how miserable," 
though of any misery the objects of their commisera- 
tion were not aware. In these same quarters they 
found all their wants supplied ; their children would 
sport on the shore at low water in search of shell-fish ; 
and during high water they might be seen climbing 
the mangrove branches, and dashing from thence into 
the water, with all the life and energy of children of a 
colder clime, at once affording a proof that even they 
were not without their joys.^ 

Orang Laut, Sabimba. — The Sabimba tribe (of the 
Orang Laut) erected in the forest rude temporary huts, 
the floors of which were on the level of the ground, 
and never remained long in the same spot.^ 

Orang Laut, Huka Kuning. — The tribe consisted of 
about fifty families, who lived scattered in small huts 
beneath the trees of the forest. Their huts were 

* y. y. A, vol. i. pp. 344*, 345*. * Logan in/. /. A. vol. i. p. 297. 


formed of a rude platform supported by four posts 
about three feet in height, from which the roof of 
"sSrdang" leaves rose at once without any inter- 
vening wall. They were open at both ends, and had 
no ladder or door.* 

Orang Laut, Beduanda Kallang. — Before the British 
obtained possession of Singapore, the Kallang river, 
which may be said to bound the present suburbs of 
Singapore to the eastward, was the immemorial haunt 
of a small tribe who lived in boats, but avoided the 
sea. Upon the cession of Singapore they were re- 
moved by the TSmenggong * to the Pulai, where they 
have remained ever since. They formerly consisted 
of about one hundred families, occupying as many 
boats, but these members .were reduced to eight by 
the ravages of small-pox. They had so much dread 
of the sea * that they did not venture to quit the river, 
and constantly proceeded towards the interior before 
night. When a strong breeze arose they would drag 
their boats ashore, but yet they never made huts.* 

Orang Laut, Akik. — The Akik tribe of the Orang 
Laut, on the other hand, did build houses, erecting 
temporary sheds called ** bagan " along the coast, 
whenever they had occasion to go ashore to build boats, 
mend nets, or collect dammar or wood-oil, etc. Other- 
wise they resided along with their families in their 
boats for months together, during which they employed 
themselves both in fishing and in collecting Zostera 
(agar-agar) and b^che-de-mer (or tripang). They 
frequently made long voyages in their fragile vessels.* 

1 /, I. A. vol. i. p. 337*. ' But sec p. 94, «. 9. 

« /./. the Raja of Johor. * /. /. A, vol. L p. 300. 

^ Newbokl, il 413, 414. 


Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing. 

Although the aboriginal tribes of the Peninsula do 
not usually resort to the hunting of game until their 
supply of vegetable food begins to give out, and they 
thence begin to feel the pressure of want, yet from the 
moment they set out on the chase they shake off their 
apparent apathy and appear as if transformed, show- 
ing themselves most keen, clever, and determined 
hunters. Their rate of progress through even the 
thickest parts of the jungle has already been noticed. 
In shooting, they are most careful and accurate, seldom 
wasting an arrow or a dart, and simple as their 
weapons may appear to us, they are able with these 
imperfect means to attack and destroy both the elephant 
and the tiger. Their powers of scent, sight, and 
hearing are very fully developed ; they are credited 
with the power of tracking snakes (which, however, 
have a fairly strong odour) by their smell alone. 
Their knowledge of the movements of game amounts 
to intuition ; they know better than any one the rare 
hot springs and ** salt licks '* where the wild beasts 
congregate, the small cleared patches on lonely 
mountain-heights where the argus pheasant " dances," 
or the monkey-king hunts for grubs, and the far-off 





forest -pools, which are the drinking -places of the 

The weapons of these tribes consist chiefly of the 
blowpipe and the bow, the former being the weapon 
of the Sakai, the latter that of the Semang. To these 
may be added a rude kind of adze and a jungle-knife 
or chopper, spears of palm-wood or bamboo, which 
are replaced by iron-bladed weapons among the 
Malayising tribes. Of the use of the " squailer '* or 
throwing-stick, there is not much recorded, although 
these are undoubtedly used, especially by the Jakun 
tribes of the south. Throwing-sticks of hard wood, 
some of which are sharpened at one end only whilst 
others are sharpened at both, are also used by the 
Peninsular Malays, by whom they are called (as by 
the Jakun) " sfiligi."^ They are, moreover, I believe, 
much used by other races of Indo-China. 

In trapping and fishing they are particularly 
expert — some of their traps having the simplicity of 


* Of their extraordinaiy skill in 
jungle travelling, M.-Maclay wrote as 
follows: — Knowing the direction in 
which he was to go and keeping it in 
mind, the Sokai would try to find out 
the thinner patches in the jungle. 
The saplings which he could not avoid 
he would bend aside ¥dth his hand 
without breaking them ; the larger ones 
he would stoop or creep underneath. 
He would never tear or cut away 
a liana or creeper which hung in his 
way, preferring to hold it in bis hand 
and crawl underneath it ; and in spite 
of this constant stooping and crawling, 
circumventing and circuitous running, 
he would advance with great rapidity. 
In following, not vnthout trouble, 
these real men of the jungle, M. -Maclay 
had to confess that, in spite of his 
loi^ experience and practice in these 
things, he had found his master in a 
fiftcen.year-old boy (/. R, A. S,, S.B., 

No. 2, pp. 212, 213), 

* Capt. J. Bradley mentions seeing 
on several occasions in the Penin- 
sula what he evidently took for 
*« squailers," and though he gives no 
details of locality, his evidence is very 
circumstantial. Thus in one place he 
sa]^ that outside the tree-huts which 
they discovered, " a number of spears 
were laid among the branches of the 
trees." These consisted merely of 
" long sticks of hard wood, sharpened 
at both ends " ; in other words, the 
Malay "seligi" (J. Bradley, Travel 
and Sporty p. 298). In yet another 
place he mentions that he found, ** in 
the interior of one of the huts, a 
number of short thick sticks intended 
apparently as missile weapons. Several 
of them had traces of blood and 
feathers adhering to them, as if they 
had been used for knocking down 
birds" {ib. p. 330). 


genius. Snares are perhaps the most commonly 
employed by them, often differing little from those in 
use among the Malays — in which case it is hard to 
say which way the borrowing went. An example of 
this is to be seen in the Semang rat-trap, which 
appears to be exactly identical with a bamboo rat-trap 
commonly used by the Malays {e,g. in Selangor and 
Perak). So, too, many of the bird -snares and 
monkey-traps employed by the Jakun are hardly to 
be distinguished from those used by the Malays, 
although in a few instances, such as in their method 
of catching fish by splashing or dabbling for them, and 
a peculiar method of entrapping the argus pheasant, 
the Langat Malays themselves informed me, probably 
not without good reason, that they had picked up 
these ideas from the Jakun in the same district. 

I. — Semang. 
Hunting and Trapping, 
Semang Gocality unspecified). — The Semang 
handle both the bow and the spear with wonderful 
dexterity, and destroy even the largest and most 
powerful animals (such as the elephant and rhinoceros) 
by ingenious contrivances. They are also very 
expert with the blowpipe, and poison their darts 
with a deadly poison called Ipoh, procured from 
the juice of various trees. They seldom suffer from 
beasts of prey, as they are extremely sharp-sighted, 
and as agile in climbing trees as the monkeys. Their 
method of destroying elephants, in order to procure 
their flesh or their tusks, is both extraordinary and 
ingenious. When they have perceived any elephants 
ascending a hill, they lie in wait in small parties of two 
or three, and as the animals descend again (which 


they usually do at a slow pace, plucking the branches 
as they move along), while the hind legs are lifted up, 
the Semang cautiously approach them from behind, 
and drive, by main force, a sharp-pointed and fire- 
hardened splinter of bamboo or palm-wood (*• nibong '*), 
which has been touched with poison, into the sole of 
their victim's foot.^ In this way they effectually lame 
him, and not unfrequently bring him down, when the 
whole party rush upon him with spears and sharp- 
pointed sticks and soon despatch him. The 
rhinoceros they obtain with yet greater ease. This 
animal, which is of solitary habits, is frequently found 
wallowing in marshy places, with its whole body 
immersed in the mud and only part of its head 
visible* The Malays call such an animal " badak tapa," 
or the ** recluse " rhinoceros. Especially towards the 
close of the rainy season they are said to seek places 
in which to bury themselves in this manner, and upon 
the dry weather setting in, through the powerful effect 
of the vertical sun, the mud which surrounds them 
forms a hard thick crust, in which the rhinoceros is 
imbedded, and from which it cannot effect its escape 
without some difficulty and exertion. The Semang 
thereupon collect large quantities of combustible 
materials which they convey to the spot, and quietly 
approaching, quickly build up over the animal an im- 
mense fire, which, being well fed with fresh fuel, 
soon completes his destruction, and renders him in 
a fit state to make a meal of The projecting horn 
on the snout is carefully preserved, as it is supposed 

> y. /. A. vol. iv. p. 426 ; cf. infra, p. man who . . . would drive a large-bladed 

207, i«. I. And q). also Ridley, i^ay;//»a/x spear between the hind legs [of the 

ef the Male^ Peninsula^ 'p, ifi'^ I "The elephant] into the abdomen, which 

Aborigines known as Sakai sometimes wound was soon after fiital, and tracking 

hunt it. There was recently living a the animal he would secure the ivory." 



to be possessed of medicinal properties, and is highly 
prized by the Malays, to whom the Semang generally 
barter it for tobacco and similar commodities.^ 

Kedah Semang. — I had, unfortunately, while in the 
Semang country no opportunity of testing in the 
capacity of an eye-witness the remarkable account of 
their methods of big-game hunting as related above by 
M^rsden. The weighty authority of the latter, how- 
ever, should strongly support his account, even if we 
did not know that in other parts of the world, and 
even of the Malay Peninsula itself, methods quite as 
inl^enious have been recorded.^ The Semang of 
Kedah, in addition to the bow, spear, and blowpipe, 
make use of all sorts of ingenious traps, pitfalls, and 
snares to secure their quarry. Birds are caught by 
means of a species of bird-lime manufactured from the 
viscid sap of some of the numerous "ficus" or 
**gutta'* trees that abound in the forest, and even 
rats are caught by means of a peculiar snare which 
resembles, however, in principle, a rat-trap commonly 
used by the Malays. For hunting purposes a kind of 
semi-wild reddish-coloured dog is used, but it does 
not appear to have much pace. 

I may add that the Semang do not appear as a rule 
to keep the domestic cat, but they not unfrequently 
make pets of young monkeys {e.g. the " lotong '*), 
which, it is alleged, are sometimes brought up by hand. 

Perak Semang. — Mr. L. Wray writes me (in a 
letter dated November 12, 1903) that the Semang of 
Upper Perak kill big game by means of their bows 
and arrows, the latter being poisoned, and having 
barbed heads and detachable fore-shafts. 

1 J. /, A, vol. iv. pp. 426, 427. not credit this account, which is 

* Mr. Wray informs me that he docs supported by Logan and others. 



Kedah Semangr. — The wilder Negrito tribes who 
live on high mountains naturally depend little upon 
fish as an article of diet. Those who dwell near 
rivers, however {e.g. the Semang of Siong), no less 
naturally make use of fish for purposes of food, and 
though I believe they usually eat them in a fresh 
condition, they certainly do not always do so, as is 
stated of the Sakai by Hale.^ The simplest instru- 
ment that they employ for this purpose is a kind of 
small basket-work scoop, which is made of bamboo, 
and is used for catching small fry in pools or sluggish 
waters, or in any place from which their retreat is cut 
off. For angling the Semang employ the rod and 
line, the rod being usually a straight unpeeled stick 
about six feet in length, and the line — which is usually 
not much longer than the rod — being made from 
twisted strands of tree-bark {Artocarpus). The line 
is always made fast to the tip of the rod, and no reel 
is used, though the use of it is well known to the 
neighbouring Malays. The hooks are, as a rule, 
roughly manufactured from bits of brass or other wire. 

In addition to the foregoing the Semang are 
adepts in the use of fish - spears and harpoons, by 
means of which they kill or capture quite large fish 
and tortoises. The harpoon used by the Semang at 
Siong was of very great length (about ten feet), and 
was made of the leaf-stem of a kind of large palm. 
The river being shallow at this spot, and full of 
obstacles, the Semang who was to act as harpooner 

^ Cp. De M. viii. 285 : " Beside the the coast, whence they obtain salt, 
river Krian the Semang frequently de- nipah leaves, shell-fish, tmdfish which 
scend to the pUin, on their way to they dry. ^^ Cp. VHomnte^ ii. 716. 


would take his stand in concealment behind a fallen 
tree-trunk or snag, and there wait whilst another 
Semang drove the fish upstream towards him. The 
fish in endeavouring to conceal themselves from the 
latter would naturally make for the snag or tree-trunk, 
thus affording his opportunity to the harpooner. 

The harpoon-head was of iron, obtained from the 
local Malays, and the shaft was the leaf-stem of a 
palm called ** ranggam/' 

The temporary poisoning of the stream by means 
of the root of Derris elliptica (Mai. **tuba"), which 
is a general method of fishing among the Peninsular 
tribes, may also have been practised by the Semang 
at Siong, but I neither saw nor heard anything of it 
during my stay, any more than I did of the use of the 

II. — Sakat. 

Hunting and Trapping. 

Perak Sakai. — Their most important weapon is 
the bamboo blowpipe, a full account of which will 
appear in a later chapter. By means of the poisoned 
darts blown through this tube, both birds and monkeys 
and other small animals are brought down from quite 
high trees at distances varying up to 60 yds. (55 m.).^ 

Mr. L. Wray informs me that he knew of a 
well-authenticated case of a leopard being killed near 
Gopeng in Perak by a Sakai with a blowpipe. 

To kill an elephant the Sakai stalk it from behind 

' "Almost their only weapon consists couple of minutes. They say that if 

of a blowpipe about seven or eight feet they can hit an elephant or a pig 

long, from which they shoot poisoned in the eye, a couple of darts will do 

darts with great accuracy as much as the job" \j,R.A.S.^ S,B,^ No. 4, 

thirty or even forty paces (23 m. to p. 29). Cp. De M. ii. 649 seg, for 

30 m.); a single dart is sufficient further notes on hunting and 

to bring a bird or monkey down in a trapping. 

Saeai wriH iUAW Vehak—Umv EVrLAJNiSr; n^ ACTI**% 


Sakai Boy watching Rat-Tkap. (Jun<)N<; I'bi, Ui.u 

Sakai I3uv watching Pkj-Tkaf (with 8pking-si'i:ar). Ulu Slim. 

/ *e>/. /. /. 207. 


until they are able to drive a sharp-pointed stake into 
the sole of its foot as the latter is lifted in walking. 
The elephant being thus eflfectually lamed, and un- 
able to pursue them, they shoot their poisoned darts 
into him from behind a tree (preferably into his eye), 
and thus despatch him. They are no less ready to 
attack the tiger and the rhinoceros.^ 

The Sakai of Perak, like the Semang, not un- 
frequently employ dogs in the chase, a custom which 
Mohammedanism has, no doubt (to some extent, though 
not entirely), brought into disuse among the Malays.- 

The traps and snares used by the Sakai are of 
various sorts and sizes, one of the commonest being 
the " b'lantek " or spring-spear trap, of which there is 
a very good account in Hale.* This trap is used for 
killing game of almost any size, from the rhinoceros 
to the porcupine. When used for large game the 
spear is either manufactured from a single piece of 
bamboo, or has its shaft made of a hard piece of wood, 
with a bamboo spike or blade firmly bound to its 
lower extremity. In either case the point of the 
weapon is generally fire-hardened. For small mammals 
a hardwood shaft, the end of which is similarly 
sharpened and fire-hardened, is employed. 

The "blantek" described by Mr. Hale is one of the 
forms of a Malay spear-trap called ** b'lantek parap,*' 
or the " slapping spring-spear." The different parts of 
it are as follows : — 

1 De la Croix, p. 335. De M. held in a bent position by a bit of 

{VHomme^ ii. 651) questions the truth jungle cord, which at a touch releases 

of this account. the spring, when the spike, which is 

* y. /. A, vol. iv. p. 429. eight to ten inches long, is buried in 

' Hale, pp. 289, 290. Cp. **They the animal. The existence of these 

generally get pigs and deer by an in- spring traps makes it advisable always 

genioas wooden spring made of the to be accompanied by a Sakai guide 

branch of a tree with a bamboo spike when moving about their country.'* — 

fixed td the end of it ; the spring is /. R, A, S., S, £,, No. 4, p. 29. 


(i) A powerfully elastic and tapering rod or 
" spring " is set horizontally, with its thicker end 
passed between two trees, the butt-end of the spear- 
shaft (2) being securely lashed to its thinner extremity. 

Two strong uprights (3) and (4), firmly planted 
in the ground at right angles to the big spring, are 
then connected by a stout cross-bar (5) and two pairs 
of crossed sticks (6) and (7), the latter being planted 
in the ground in a line with the two uprights. 

A cord is then made fast to the outsideVpair of 
cross-sticks (7) and attached to a rattan ring (8), 
which slides along the cross-bar (5) till the cord 
connecting it with (7) is drawn taut ; the smaller end of 
the big spring is drawn back till it touches the anterior 
upright (3), and set by means of a strong bamboo 
noose (9), which is held by a small spring (9), the 
other end of which is connected with the rattan ringr 
(8) already referred to. 

Any animal which passes along the path between 
the two sets of cross-sticks (6) and (7) and touches 
the taut cord, in so doing pulls away the rattan ring 
(8) and releases the small spring (9), which flies up, 
releasing the big spring in its turn, the result being 
that the spear is driven, with all the force that the 
spring is capable of giving it, straight towards the 
animal that touched the cord. 

The next kind of spring-trap, referred to by Hale, 
is one in which the big wooden spring is made to 
strike the butt-end of a spear, causing it to fly like 
an arrow across the track of any passing animal. 

This spring-trap is undoubtedly the "b'lantek 
paut," or "draw-back spring-spear," of the Peninsular 

The third kind of spring-trap, which is described 


I 2 3 \ De Mot^an. 

Types of Fish-Hooks (Natiral and Artificial). 

1. Natural hooks of the rattan or clinibinn cane 

2. Single Malay fish-hook (iron). 

3. Double hook of rattan used by aborigines. 

4. Single hook of rattan used by aborigine.-.. 

De Morgan. 

Sakai Fish-Dam, for catching Fish in the Kinta 
River at Lubo' Kelah ("Lobou Kela"). 

See p. 211. 
(.v./?. The lettering is not explained in Dc Morgan's text.) 

/ V/. /. /. 209. 


as being worked on the bow principle, is the Malay 
** b'lantek tSrbang," or " flying spring-spear/* 

I do not, however, give Hale's description, as he 
states that the Sakai professed ** utter ignorance " of it.^ 

All three forms of the spring-spear-trap described 
are, however, certainly known to and used by the 
Peninsular Malays, though it may be an open question 
whether the Malays or the aboriginal tribes were the 
first to employ it. 

Of ordinary snares or springes (for animals and 
birds) Hale says that they are made of rattan by the 
Sakai and variously set ; the most usual form being 
a simple rattan noose set taut by a stout wooden 
spring : with these they catch rats, squirrels, and 
animals as large as the porcupine.^ 

Bird-lime is also employed. The sap of a " gutta- 
tree'* is boiled down until it attains the required 
consistency, when it is applied to a number of thin 
slips of rattan, these slips being thickly planted over 
the ground to catch small birds : of some gregarious 
sorts, like the little padi-bird, great numbers are 


Perak Sakai. — Of the Kinta Sakai Hale says that 
they do not trouble themselves about fishing until 
their vegetable food is on the point of exhaustion. 
They live on the mountain -tops, and do not go 
down to the big rivers for fish unless forced to do so 
by scarcity of food.* Once in about three months 
they will make a journey to one of the big rivers, and 
there, by means of fish-dams,^ etc., obtain a large 

1 Hale, p. 290. 2 lb. » lb. p. 291. « lb, 

^ Cp. De M. in VH. \\. 653. 



supply of fish. They do not, however, understand 
the drying of it, and hence even the biggest haul 
only means a few days* feasting, while the fish 
remains good.^ 

De Morgan states that fishing with rod and line 
{lignes volantes) is practised by the Sakai, a very 
primitive form of hook being employed, which consists 
of the ** curved-back '* thorns of certain kinds of rattan 
{Calamus), the line being made from strands of tree- 
bark (the fibres of Artocarptis)} 

De la Croix says they are very clever at making 
** bow-nets," etc., and that he and Mr. Brooke Low, 
in ascending S, Kerbu, saw many small Sakai fishing- 
huts on the banks.* 

The Sakai also make much use of " very beautiful 
casting-nets," manufacturing the twine of which the 
net is made from the inner bark of a creeper, by 
twisting two strands together on the thigh in the 
usual way. These nets are weighted, according to 
Hale, with chains manufactured from tin, which are 
obtained from the Malays, and attached to the outside 
edge of the net.* 

De Morgan, however, saw some which were of still 
simpler construction, and weighted with stones,* the 
twine of which the net was made being manufactured 
from strands of bark of the " t'rap," or wild bread- 
fruit tree {Artocarpus). 

* Hale, p. 291. carrying the worms that they use as 

2 LHomme^ ii. 653, 655 ; but, on bait. Cp. LHomnie, iL 619 (illustra- 

the other hand, Hale (p. 291) states tion). 

that the Sakai "do not appear to ' De la Croix, pp. 322-325; 

know anything of angling." De M. V Homme, ii. 655. 

{^VH, ii. 655) also speaks of their em- ♦ Hale, p. 291. 

ploying small bamboo receptacles for ^ De M. vii. 418. 


Fish-dams, Weirs, and Traps. 

The Sakai also commonly take fish by means of 
fish-dams, weirs, and traps (all of which are con- 
structed very closely in accordance with the methods 
of the Malays, from whom they are most probably 
to a great extent copied. In the case of a wide 
shallow river, a V-shaped fish-fence is set across the 
stream, and a fish-trap or " weel " set at the point of the 
V (which fronts upstream). Deep narrow streams 
are fenced or dammed across, and the weels set in 
the opening.^ 

Hale describes in detail (p. 291) an extensive 
fish-trap which he saw in the Kinta river, where it 
was about sixty yards (54 m.) wide and rather swift. 

His description is as follows : — 

A is a grating of bamboo, B a platform to catch 
the fish. C and D are two rows of strong posts. This 
grating is built half-way across the river (30 yards ?), 
and being strongly made will last a year. During 
Hood-time many fish are taken, but most during the 
driest season of the year, when the second half of 
the river is dammed and all the water made to pass 
through the grating. 

In order to assist this latter process the scrapings 
of a certain poisonous jungle-root ^ is thrown into the 
river some distance above the grating, the effect of 
which is to drive the fish down half-stupefied. Several 
hundred fish (many of a large size) are often taken by 
this means. 

1 De Morgan relates how he passed for catching fish (De Morgan, viii. 160). 
a n^t in a deserted (Sakai) fishing- ^ Doubtless Derris elHptica, called 

hot which fronted a huge dam (then **tuba" by the Malays; v. Wray, 

half demolished) which had been used /Vr. Mus. N», No. I. pp. 19-23. 


Hunting and Trapping. 

Selangor Sakai. — The second form of spring-spear 
trap ("b'lantek paut**) appears to be identical with 
that described as the " p'lantek " by Letessier, among 
the Sakai of the Kuala Lumpor district. 

Among the snares used by these Sakai, the " p'lan- 
tek " (he says) is the commonest and most dangerous^ 
being composed of a strong springy rod furnished 
with a bamboo dart, which is intended to pierce any 
animal of sufficient size that disengages (in passing) 
the short cord keeping the rod in position. Before 
crossing the felled trees (which are always in the 
proximity of a Sakai habitation) for the first time, it is 
just as well to ascertain that there are no traps of this 
description along the route.^ 

In a graphic account of some Sakai tribes of the 
Ulu Langat district, the late Mr. J. A. G. Camp- 
bell remarked that it was very amusing to go out 
hunting with the Sakai in the jungle, and to see 
the stealthy way in which they went through it with- 
out breaking a twig. Although their pace seemed 
slow, it was very difficult to keep up with them, and 
they seldom failed to bring home some bird or beast 
for their evening meal. No other race in the Malay 
Peninsula could be compared with them in respect of 
their wonderful knowledge of the jungle. They were 
absolutely at home in it, and did not mind sleeping 
out in the rain either under a tree or up among its 
branches. They had a wonderful instinctive knowledge 
of the presence of animals, and could tell, when nobody 
else could, of a bird or animal moving at a great 
distance. They were even believed to be able to track 

^ Letessier, p. loo. 

Sakai in Jl'NGle Accoutrements, Sungei Berang, Seven Miles from Tanjong Malim. 

I'oL I. p. ai2. 


snakes by their smell, and could at all events catch 
any number of them without the slightest difficulty. 
The Sakai of Ulu Langat made a good deal of money 
by selling animals and birds to the Malays. They 
hunt with blowpipes, spears, and knives ; but some 
have bought guns, which many of them use in common. 
They seldom hope to get more than two deer a year 
each, but count on about fifteen pigs. They have 
many modes of trapping game, a favourite one being 
to make game-fences (made of sticks planted in rows 
with palm-leaves tied across them), some of which are 
500 yards (450 m.) long, and then to drive the game 
against this fence, and there shoot or spear it. They 
have many other snares which are well known to the 
Malays. They are not particularly brave. Many of 
them who have guns are not brave enough to hunt the 
elephant or bison, and are not ashamed to tell you so.^ 


Selangror Sakai. — The method of fishing which 
the Sakai consider the most important from their 
point of view, since it is also the most effective, 
consists in temporarily poisoning small streams and 
rivers in the manner already described, by means of 
the powerful sap obtained from the pounded root of a 
plant which the Malays call " tuba " {Derris elliptica). 
By means of this poison which is thrown into the river 
fish are stupefied in large numbers,^ and. may then be 
caught by hand or transfixed with a sort of harpoon or 
gaff made for the purpose. 

* J. A. G. Campbell, p. 243. whether this method of fish-poison- 

' The fish stupefied by means of ing is borrowed from the Malays, 

*• tuba " are in no case, I believe, killed or vice versa. It is in any case a 

outright by the poison. I should add, custom of exceedingly wide distribu- 

perhaps, that it is impossible to tell tion. 


ThefoUowing descriptionof oneof the Fishing Feasts 
of the Selangor Sakai, which was witnessed by the 
writer in the interior of Selangor (Ulu Langat district), 
is taken from the account ^ of Father Letessier. He 
writes that the fishing at Ulu Beranang, at which he 
was present, was a great festivity. Installed upon the 
bank under a few large leaves of the ** b^rtam ** palm, 
which were made to lean obliquely against a horizontal 
pole nine feet from the ground, each family at evening 
counted the fish caught, and dried them upon a large 
wooden grill built over the fire, where a bountiful 
supper was cooking. 

The children, one above the other, holding on to 
the giant creepers which hung from the great trees, 
swung themselves from bank to bank or played in the 
water, in spite of their mothers, who feared that the 
poison might affect their little ones. Indeed, one of 
them suffered a long time from colic from having 
drunk the water too soon. 

After supper, which was served on plates of leaves, 
without spoon or fork, the children recommenced their 
games, whilst their elders smoked cigarettes, stretched 
at ease upon branches or mats. The women, who had 
done nothing during the day, continued drying the 
fish far into the night. 

III. — Jakun. 

Hunting and Trapping. 

Blandas. — The Blandas of K. Langat, like most 
of the tribes referred to, will eat everything that they 
can catch, and are very expert in the use of the blow- 
pipe, and employ dogs to discover their quarry. They 

* Letessier, p. lOO. 


Sakai fishing at Ull' Kam, Ulu Selangor. 


Aboriginks Fishing at Ulu Ki.ang. 

Women in stream driving the fish, old man on the bank with harui-net (" binioh "). 

VoL I. /. 214. 

Two Sakai VVomkn with Pet Jungle-Pk;s. Ull' Slim, Perak. 

Sakai Women and Children with Pkt Jingle-Pk;. 

The chiltlrcn's turn (notice face-paiiu of wt>inan fct-iliiiK child). Ulu Slim, Perak. 


I'oi. I. p. J I 5. 


do not, however, in hunting trust merely to their own 
skill, or to that of their dogs, as the following charm, 
which was given me by them as a charm of great 
efficacy in bringing down monkeys, will show : — 

The Monkey -Charm. 

Chann the souls of apes and monkeys, 
Souls othtongy i^roy and wa^wa\ 
Come ye down — or feed the wild beasts ! 
Come ye down — or feed the bear-cat ! 
*Tis the * • lemp'rai " stem up-tippling, 
Tis the " lemp'nii " stem down-settling, 
Tis the " kumbang " stem down-settling ! 
Forward then, at random stopping — 
Though one handmaid be short measure — 
Come ye down, with souls enchanted, 
MonkejTS, by my spells enchanted. 
Lo, it is no dew descending. 
But the tears of apes and monkeys. 
Tears of loiong^ Jl^ra, and wa^wc^. 
Maidens, 'tis your souls descending. 
Deem ye me some tree-stump walking, 
Deem ye me the lightning's shadow. 
Though your eyes may see me walking. 
Walk I hid, as one smoke-shrouded. 
Though I pass, may ye not see me. 

The Blandas also occasionally keep wild animals 
for future consumption, though they cannot exactly be 
said to fatten them. I have seen a young wild pig 
kept in this way, a strong cage being built for it 
underneath the raised hut -floor of a Blandas man 
who lived on the river Langat. 

Besisi. — The Besisi of K. Langat, in hunting, still 
as a rule use the blowpipe, though in many places it 
is fast becoming obsolete. Most of them also are 
well provided with spears and jungle-knives, but in a 
good many cases one meets with men who have 
managed to barter or buy an old Tower musket from 
the Malays, and this gun is then used in common by 
all members of the tribe. 

The Besisi, like most of the aborigines, are won- 


derful woodsmen. When I was at Sepang they 
frequently brought me in wild animals and birds that 
they had caught alive, among them being specimens 
of the Malayan partridge ("sorong lanting"), the 
" bfirtam " bird, the argus pheasant or '* kuau," various 
kinds of chevrotain, and even, on one occasion, the 
rare and curious mammal called Gymnura (**pijat- 
pijat"). So, too, in his account of the wild tribes 
of the same district, Mr J. A. G. Campbell re- 
marked that the Besisi (** Orang Laut ") used to 
bring him as many as ten "mangrove** snakes 
(** ular bakau *') at a time, telling him they had caught 
them all that morning. Monkeys, birds, tiger-cats, 
etc., were sold by them for very small sums, and a 
monkey that would bring ten dollars in Singapore 
could be bought from them for twenty cents.^ 

In addition to spring-traps, such as those already 
described, many kinds of fall-traps and springes ot 
various kinds, as well as game-fences, were used by 
the Besisi for trapping game of different sorts and sizes. 

For bird-lime many sorts of trees possessing a 
viscous sap were resorted to and the sap mixed in 
various proportions, the liquid being boiled down if 
necessary till a proper consistency is reached. The 
sticky gum thus obtained was applied to the ends of a 
number of short rattan sticks or slivers (from i ft. to 
2 ft. in length), and these as a rule were set in notches 
cut for the purpose with a jungle-knife in the branches 
of the trees to which the birds resorted. 

The bird-lime was usually kept (by the Besisi) in 
small bamboo tubes, which were corked with a section 
of the leaf-stalk of a *' bertam ** palm. 

In order to capture the argus pheasant the foUow- 

' J. A. G. Campbell, p. 243. 


ing very peculiar though cruel method was pursued. 
The argus pheasant, which is a most beautiful bird, 
is exceedingly shy of man, and lives, as a rule, a long 
way off in the hilly part of the forest, where it may 
be heard calling, and sometimes (but very rarely) can 
be seen flying overhead. 

Here and there these birds have regular dancing- 
grounds which they clear of weeds and small shrubs by 
seizing the roots with their beaks and twisting their 
necks round the stems so as to drag the latter up out 
of the ground. 

The Besisi of Kuala Langat, being aware of this 
habit, search for one of their dancing -grounds and 
plant in the centre of it one or two long and flexible 
slivers of bamboo, bent double so as to form a stiff" 
kind of noose standing upright in the ground. The 
edges of these slivers are as sharp as knives, and 
when the birds twist their necks in the nooses (mis- 
taking them, it is alleged, for newly-grown weeds) 
and try to drag them out of the ground, they generally 
kill or choke themselves in doing so.^ 


BesisL — The Besisi of Langat (as their claim to be 
Orang Laut might lead us to expect) are very expert 
fishers. Their bait,^ for the most part, consists of 
worms, especially the sand-worm (** pumpun sarang "), 
which they stalk and very adroitly dig up out of the 
sand before it has time to bury itself too deeply. 
They commonly also use, however, the ** pumpun 

^ Ofteiit however, they are taken markable process here described, is 
alive in one of the many kinds of bird- contained in the Museum at Cambridge, 
traps used by the Jakun. A model, ^ It is described by Klinkert as re- 
made at my request by a member of sembling a millipede, as living in the 
the tribe in order to exhibit the re- sand, and as affording bait for fish. 


mat," which is a mud-worm of immense length (some 
I have seen measured upwards of three feet) living 
deep down in the mud of the mangrove swamps. A 
good deal, perhaps most, of the angling is done by the 
women, whom I have often seen fishing in this way, 
and who become very clever in the use of the rod.^ 

A somewhat unusual method of rod-fishing in vc^ue 
among some of the Besisi, as well as among some 
of the local Malays (who are said to have learnt it from 
them), is extremely curious. The fisherman goes out 
in a dug-out canoe, at about half- tide, and paddles 
gently in and out among the mangrove -roots in the 
little salt-water creeks of the tidal rivers. On 
reaching a suitable spot he starts angling, using an 
extremely short rod (not above two feet long), and a 
line not more than three feet long at the most. A 
novice might suppose that the only chance of getting 
a bite at all under such circumstances from anything 
better than a gudgeon would be to remain as silent and 
still as the grave. The Besisi, however, knowing his 
fish better, splashes the tip of his rod vigorously in 
the water. This has the effect of making his quarry 
(big mud -fish such as the ** s^mbilang " ^ and the 
** b'lukang ") go for the bait with a greedy rush which 
results in their immediate capture. The fisherman, 
however, cannot be too careful, as the **sSmbilang" 
is furnished with very poisonous spines (one at each 
side and one on its back), and I have known these to 
cause painful wounds, the effects of which continued 
to be felt for several days afterwards. 

^ Mr. G. C. Bellamy says : " Some throw the bait similarly to fly-fishing, 

of the women are expert fishers, and whipping the fish out with great skill " 

make use of a light rod and a line of (Bellamy, p. 229). 
about the same length as the rod. ^ Plotosus caniasy etc. The *' b'lu- 

They stand in the shallow water and kang " is unidentified. 












Hinting Paktv with Blowpipes, Bukit Priai., Kepong, Selangor. 

Vo/. /. p. 219. 


I may add that I myself have caught " sfimbilang '' 
by the method described. The Malays call it 
** kachau " or ** m^ngachau s^mbilang " (** splashing " or 
" dabbling for s^mbilang "), and it is thought that the 
fish take the splashing for that made by the crabs on 
which they feed, and which may often be seen flitting, 
like small violet will-o*-the-wisps, along the edge of 
the tidal waters, among the forked mangrove-roots. 

The Besisi also make use of the Malay casting-net 
(" jala"), as well as of many kinds offish-traps, which they 
frequently set in dams or fish-fences. They also use 
the fish-spear, but the method of poisoning fish by 
means of "tuba" {Derris elliptica) is now little practised 
by them, as it is discountenanced by the Government. 

In addition to fish, the Besisi (as Orang Laut) live 
largely on shell-fish, which they collect (for the most 
part by hand) on the sandy flats of the foreshore in 
the Kuala Langat district. I have frequently seen them 
collecting cockles ("krang'*), **kepah," "lokan," and 
mussels(** kijing "), whose breathing-holes are plentifully 
visible in places where the sand and the ipud-flats 
meet and the B^rembang and Api-api trees cover the 
surface with their network of surface-roots and pointed 
suckers. The discarded shells are thrown away near 
the houses, and diminutive kitchen-middens are thus 
occasionally to be seen in the actual process of formation. 

Hunting and Trapping. 

Mantra. — The Mantra use poisoned bow : traps 
as well as darts for killing their game. A springy 
rod is planted in the ground with a short spike fixed 
to it near the point, at right angles. The spike is 
poisoned with ** ipoh," and the point lightly pinned to 
the ground with a wooden fork, so that the slightest 


touch may release it, and the spike strike its intended 

Benua-Jakon (of Johor). — According to Logan, 
it was in the forest that the Benua sought their 
principal supplies of animal food. Their fetvourite 
dish — the flesh of the wild hog — was also that which 
was procurable in the greatest abundance. Logan 
passed several tracts which seemed literally to swarm 
with the hog. For miles together the banks of some 
streams were covered with the prints of their feet, 
and in some moist hollows their tracks were so abun- 
dant that it was impossible to recognise the path, and 
his guide repeatedly lost it. In other districts, again, 
they seemed to be less numerous. They were par- 
ticularly plentiful in some places to the southward of 
the Lulumut chain, and the men of the settlement 
called Durian-tree Village (Kampong Pohun Durian), 
on the river Pines, a few days before his arrival there, 
had killed fifteen. They were killed by the help of 
dogs and spears. Of the two varieties of dog which 
the Benua possessed, the larger one was the proper 
hunter of the hog, although the smaller used also to be 
joined in the chase. Their spear- head, which was of 
native fabrication, was broad and very thin towards 
the edges. It was set on a shaft about eight feet 
long, and formed a light and serviceable weapon, 
without which the Benua never ventured into the 
forest or went upon a journey, and in the efficiency of 
which, for defensive and offensive purposes, he had 
much confidence. Whenever he entered a house his 
spear was stuck, with the head upwards, into the 
ground in front of the doorway.^ 

^ Geigcr, p. 29. 
* /. /. A, vol. i. pp. 256, 257 ; cp. ib, vol. ii. p. 258. 


Jakun Womkn (Ulu Ki-au, Pahang). with Hunting Dcx; in Foreground. 

/W. /. /. 221. 


Elsewhere we are told by the same writer that next 
to the hog, deer were most sought. The roe-deer 
(** kijang ") and the sambhur (** rusa ") were chased by 
the larger variety of dog, and the diminutive mouse-deer 
(" plandok ") by the small variety, which was generally 
reserved for that purpose. It had some resemblance 
to the Bengal fox, and appeared to be allied to the 
Chinese breed. The most common mode of hunting 
the mouse-deer was to send the dog into the jungle 
on the banks of a stream, the Benua either slowly 
floating down the current, or pulling against it in his 
canoe, and cheering on and guiding the dog with his 
deep, long-drawn, monotonous cries of " oh ! oh ! oh ! " 
The dog, on running down a mouse-deer, was said to 
be in the habit of breaking its leg, and then, by means 
of barking, to direct the hunter to the spot. The 
only domestic animals besides the dogs, of which 
several were to be found in every cottage, were fowls 
of a larger breed, and the common Malay cat.^ 


Benna-Jakun. — A formidable and effective snare 
was used by the Johor Benua, as well as by the 
Berembun tribes, for capturing or killing the deer 
and the hog, and even in some cases the tiger. It 
consisted of a slight and rude game-fence carried to 
a considerable length across the ground which the 
animals were expected to traverse. At every twenty 
pr thirty feet openings were left, between which spears 
were fixed (close to and parallel with the fence), with 
the heads reaching across the openings. The end of 
the shaft was fastened to the extremity of a freshly cut, 

1/. /. A. vol. i. p. 257. 


and therefore highly elastic, sapling, placed hori- 
zontally, and measuring about fifteen feet in length 
and two to two and a half inches in breadth. The 
other extremity was fastened to a strong stake driven 
into the ground, and within a few feet of this another 
stake was placed (in such a direction that when the 
sapling was forcibly bent back against it for two or 
three feet it was perpendicular to the fence). The 
method by which it was retained so retracted was 
equally simple and effective. A rough pole secured 
by two stakes was placed parallel to one of the poles 
of the fence (on the side where the spear and its other 
apparatus were), but at a level a little below that of 
the spear. A stick measuring a few feet long was 
then bound firmly to one extremity of the sapling so 
as to be parallel to, and on the same level as, the 
spear, while the other extremity, well smoothed, was 
made to pass under another stick which was fixed at 
right angles to it, the ends of which passed under 
the two poles. The sticks retained their position by 
their mutual pressure. To this cross-stick a black and 
thin, but very strong, string was fastened. The other 
end of the string was attached to the further side of 
the opening, and the portion passing across it was 
made to hang loosely. When an animal entered the 
opening the pressure of its body on this part of the 
string pulled the cross-stick forwards. An advance of 
less than an inch released it, and the instant the stick 
which kept the sapling bent was thus freed in its turn, 
the latter sprang forward with immense force to its 
natural position, and the spear was driven into the 
body of the animal, indeed in many cases probably 
right through it. The slightness of the pressure 
required to release the spring, and the rapidity and 


irresistible force with which the spear was impelled 
across the opening were admirable. The materials 
for every part of this contrivance were collected from 
the forest around. Even the spear-head was made of 
a species of bamboo (the **buloh kasap**) and was 
exceedingly hard and sharp.^ 

The Berembun tribes also, to capture wild animals, 
dug pits about twelve feet in depth, which they 
covered over with brushwood.^ 

Wild pigeons, wild fowl, and many other birds 
used for food were caught by means of bird-lime, of 
which they possessed several very effective kinds, 
prepared by mixing the viscid sap yielded by different 


Benua^akun. — Many families had small huts on 
the bank of the nearest stream on which they kept 
canoes, and men, women, and children, one, as a rule, 
to each canoe, were everywhere met with engaged 
in the quiet occupation of angling. They had, how- 
ever, other methods of catching fish. The most 
common was by means of small portable traps woven 
from rattan creepers {Calami). Rows of stakes or fish- 
fences were also used. But the most elaborate form 
of fish-trap consisted of a large framework, like the 
skeleton of a bridge, which was thrown right across 
the stream, and at a level some feet higher than the 
banks, so as to be above inundations. A line of stakes 
was fixed across the river-bed, an opening being left 
in the middle. Above this the Benua took his seat 
on a small platform (sometimes sheltered by a roof), 

> /. /. A, vol. i. pp. 257, 258. proved fatal, v. Lake in /. R, A, 5'., 
Acddents from these traps often occur S, B,, No. 25, p. 4. 
to hnman beings. For one which * /. /. A, voL i. pp. 257, 258. ^ /j. 


and suspended a small net in the opening. On this 
net he kept his eyes intently fixed, and as soon as a 
fish entered he raised the net and extracted it. The 
rivers and streams abounded in fresh- water fish, and 
there were about fifty species.^ 

Udai. — The Udai were described by Newbold as 
preferring the delights of the chase to the drudgery of 
agriculture; they employed the day in roaming the 
forest, and subsisted on the flesh of the animals that 
they captured.^ 

Orang Laut or Sea-Jakun. 

Orang Laut, Sabimba. — To the blowpipe as their 
principal weapon the Sabimba owed all that they could 
obtain of the animals that lived in the trees of the 
forest, whilst with their dogs (a ** species of pariah ") 
they hunted the wild hog.^ 

Orang Laut, Beduanda Kallang. — The Beduanda 
Kallang were fishermen and foresters, and divided 
their time between these two pursuits. They had 
small fishing-stakes near the mouth of the river which 
some of them visited in the mornings.* 

Orang Laut, Akik. — The Akik were expert divers 
and fishermen, and employed nets which they made 

1 /. /. A, vol. i. p. 256. 9 /. /. A, vol. i. p. 347*. 

* Newbold, ii. 381, 382. * lb. p. 300. 

^ Newbold, ii. 413, 414. 


Modes of Barter. 

Money is not yet understood by any but the most 
civilised members of the three races, all of whom trade 
to a greater or less extent in jungle produce, the chief 
articles bartered being gutta, tree-gum or " dammar," 
wood-oils (camphor, benzoin, etc.), perfumed wood, 
e^. eagle-wood or " gharu," and to a limited extent, 
minerals, more especially tin. 

In return the jungle -folk get rice, tobacco, salt, 
areca-nuts, cloth, cooking utensils, implements, tools, 
and weapons, and occasionally such luxuries as beads 
and (very rarely) looking-glasses. 

They appear to possess a decided preference 
(doubtless due to the fact that neither are Mussulmans) 
for dealings with the Chinese, who obtain for them 
various articles which have now become necessities 
of their existence, and who do not cheat them so 
mercilessly as the Malays. 

In many Malay legends reference is made to the 
alleged Sakai and Semang practice of depositing 
the objects that they were willing to barter in a 
recognised spot, and then returning a few days later 
to take up the articles that the Malays had mean- 
while deposited in the same spot by way of payment 


226 MODES OF BARTER part ii 

— a method allowing plenty of scope for the chicanery 
of which the Malays are so generally accused. 

Logan's remarks upon the Benua-Jakun of Johor 
are, however, quite to the point here, and apply 
almost equally to all branches of the tribes in the 

At all events (he says) it is to the Malays that the 
more civilised aborigines owe every departure from 
their original forest habits. If we deprive them of 
those articles for which the Malays have purposely 
infected them with a taste, and those they have them- 
selves voluntarily sought from the desire to imitate 
and approximate to the habits of the more civilised 
appropriators of their country, there will remain hardly 
anything to distinguish them from their wilder com- 
patriots. Indeed, examples may still be seen of men 
whom indolence alone prevents from working up to 
the high prices that the Malays would exact from 
them, and who live in a wild nomadic condition, their 
only clothing a loin-cloth, and their food limited 
during the greater part of the year to the produce of 
their clearings and of the forest.* 

Compared with the labour that the acquisition 
of the necessaries of life costs them, that which is 
required to obtain the few luxuries and conveniences 
to which they are now habituated is excessive. 
Instead of a scanty and irregular supply of clothing 
and other articles, it should, in view of the fact that 
their industry is greater, suffice to raise them eventually 
to a condition of greater plenty and comfort than has 
been attained by the Malays themselves.* 

» /. /. A, voL i. pp. 285, 286. « Ih. 


I. — Semang. 

Semang (no district speeifled). — In 1835, the usual 
method of barter employed between the Semang 
and the Malays was for the latter to deposit their com- 
modities, consisting chiefly of coarse cloths, tobacco, 
and knives, in any open space in the vicinity of the 
known Semang camping-grounds, and then retire to a 
convenient distance. The Semang would next ap- 
proach, and, having selected such articles as they 
fancied, bear them off, leaving in their place what- 
ever they might deem a fair equivalent ; this latter 
consisted chiefly of elephants* teeth, eagle- wood, resin, 
canes, rattans, and so forth, of which, through ignorance 
of their market value, the Semang always left an 
ample supply. A few, however, who had partially 
overcome their timidity, and occasionally ventured to 
approach the Malayan villages, speedily learned to 
profit by the superstitions and fears of their new 
acquaintances, and to demand a high and exorbitant 
rate for the vegetable preparations which they were 
wont to use as medicine.^ 

In a more detailed account we are told that a few 
of them who ventured to approach the Malayan 
villages obtained a little cloth in exchange for elephants' 
teeth, eagle-wood, wax, woods, gums, ** dammar," and 
canes which they procured in the forest, but of the in- 
trinsic value of which they possessed but little know- 
ledge, so that they were generally imposed upon by 
the crafty Malay. From the Malays also they pro- 
cured their arms, knives, and tobacco, of which last 
they made great use. In their own turn, however, 

» Begbic, pp. 8, 9. 

328 MODES OF BARTER part ii 

they frequently learnt to work upon the superstitions 
of the Malays (when they had no products to barter, 
and wished to procure a supply of tobacco), by pre- 
senting them with medicines which they pretended to 
derive from particular shrubs and trees in the woods, 
and represented as efficacious for the cure of headache 
and other complaints.^ 

Pangan. — The Pangan or Eastern Semang that 
we saw at Ulu Aring in Kelantan used to depend 
upon the Malay hamlet of Kampong Buntal for their 
rice, as well as for their salt and their tobacco, and 
had come down, in fact, at the time when we were 
there for the purpose of obtaining this latter com- 
modity, of which I myself was able to present them 
with a considerable supply. The only other articles 
for which they were usually indebted to the Malays 
were the cloths they wrapped round their waists, and 
the blades of their jungle-knives and spear-heads. On 
the other hand, one of the men that we observed was 
in possession of a razor which had been " given " him 
(doubtless in return for more than its fair equivalent 
in other commodities) by the Malay chief or '* Peng- 
hulu " of the village. 

Kedah Semang. — The Semang of Kedah had 
themselves grown a small field of rice, and to the 
extent of their harvest were independent of the local 
Malays, so far as their food-supply was concerned. 
Nevertheless the scantiness of this stock made it 
quite clear that in a few months they would have 
come to an end of it, and would either be obliged to 

^ /. /. A, vol. iv. pp. 425, 436. SimiUur charges are, of coune, often 

This account is not quite just to made by the Malays (from whom this 

the Semang, who undoubtedly offered idea may have be«i derived), but on 

to the Malays what they themselves proper investigation they prove to be 

regarded as efficacious medicines. baseless. 


live again for a while on roots and fruits, or (more 
probably) to eke out the shortness of their own supply 
with a fresh store obtained from the Malays. The 
knives, spear-heads, and even the harpoon-heads used 
by this tribe were all of Malay manufacture, as were 
also all the cloths that they were wearing. 

Perak Semansr* — As to the extent to which these 
simple ways of trade were employed, De Morgan says 
that the Semang obtained a " considerable portion " of 
their livelihood by the barter of jungle produce with 
the Malays.^ Like the earlier authorities quoted, he 
adds that they were " absolutely ignorant " of the 
value of money.* 

II. — Sakai. 

Perak Sakai.— The wild Sakai of the Perak Hills 
(Sakai Bukit) in trading with the Malays always 
either employ a ** tame " Sakai as their intermediary, 
or else confine themselves to depositing their jungle 
products on the banks of the rivers at times and in 
places which are tacitly understood. They then 
withdraw, returning some time later to fetch the 
articles which the Malays offer them in exchange.' 

The articles in which the Sakai usually trade are 
enumerated by De la Croix as including tree-gum, resin 
(or "dammar"), gutta, caoutchouc, wax, honey, ivory, 
and rhinoceros horns. These articles they dispose 
of to the Malays, not for ready money, but for cloth, 
salt, kitchen utensils, etc., the Malays being too 
clever to lose by the exchange.* 

Selangor Sakai. — The Sakai of Selangor (Kuala 
Lumpor district) appear to have a decided preference 

* Dc Morgan, viii. 296. • De la Croix, p. 340. 

^ lb. ^ lb, p. 337. 

230 MODES OF BARTER part ii 

for dealing with the Chinese, who supply them with 
tobacco, cloth-stuffs, rice, tools, and cooking utensils, 
in return for various articles of jungle produce, such 
as gutta-percha and charcoal. They do not have 
recourse to the Malays except when there are no 
Chinese, as they are frequently cheated by the former, 
whereas the latter treat them not only with scrupulous 
honesty, but even with a sort of ** fraternal cordiality." ^ 

III. — Jakun. 

Blandas. — The foregoing descriptions of barter as 
it obtains among the Semang and the Sakai of Perak 
apply so closely to the Blandas of Kuala Langat 
that it is hardly necessary to particularise further. 
An interesting point, however, which is worth men- 
tioning is that both the Blandas and the Besisi, their 
neighbours, make considerable use of incantations and 
magic in collecting their jungle produce. The follow- 
ing charm employed by the collectors of wild honey 
is a fair example : — 

Honey-gatherers* Charm, 

<* Mung, mung, mung ! " the moon -white apes cry 

(Apes of " rock " and ** well " and «* basil "), 

Come ye out into the moonlight. 

Hearken to me with affection, 

List to me with kind affection, 

Grannies, hark to me, your grandchild, 

Who but begs for you to teach him 

How to weave a mat — of rushes ! 

Grannies, o'er the seas come hasting, 

O'er the hills come hasting. Grannies ! 

Swinging, swaying, come ye hither ! 

All I b^ is, you should teach me 

How to weave a mat — of bees-wax ! 

Grannies, hark to me your grandchild ! 

When I have explained that the moon -white 
" apes " in this invocation are probably intended to 

1 Letessier, p. lOO. 


represent the Blandas honey -collectors themselves, 
and that the word " Grannies " refers to the wild bees, 
who are supposed to be deceived by this quaint piece 
of fiction, I think the purport of this charm will be 
sufiBciently clear without further explanation. 

Besisi. — The same remarks apply to the Besisi; 
one of the charms used by whom (in collecting wild 
honey) was quoted by the present writer in Malay 
Magic} I may add that the Besisi in the Kuala Langat 
district often raised a considerable crop of rice, and 
it was the object of the neighbouring Malays to cajole 
as much of this out of them as possible. On several 
occasions I was obliged to step in to protect them as 
far as I could from their rapacious neighbours. The 
latter frequently charged the Besisi with using false 
measures and similar methods of deception, but I 
never found that the charge could be fairly sub- 
stantiated, and have little doubt that the real object 
of these charges was to discredit and rob the Jakun. 

Mantra. — Of the Mantra we are told, on the high 
authority of Logan, that there were *' no traders, shop- 
keepers, or artificers *' among them,^ but this does not, 
of course, signify that the Mantra do not engage in 
the ordinary trade' in jungle products. In addition 
to this we are informed that the Mantra have no 
weights, but employ the (usual) coconut -shell as a 

Benua-Jakun of Johor. — But by far the clearest and 
most circumstantial statement of the trading methods 
of any of those Peninsular tribes is Logan's report 
upon the trade of the Benua-Jakun of Johor. 

The Malays (according to Logan) have taught the 

' For this, and another Blandas App. p. 611. 
charm of the same kind, v, Mai, Magky ^ J, /. A, vol. i. p. 330*. ^ lb. 

232 MODES OF BARTER part ii 

Jakun to covet things which he knows not how to 
procure save from them. These are cloth, and certain 
articles of earthenware and iron, such as coarse plates, 
pots, pans, chopping-knives or ''parangs,'' and axes. 
Sugar and coconuts again are both much prized. 
The Jakun's supply of rice often fails. His tobacco 
is deficient in strength. Although he has both wild 
and cultivated betel-vines, he has neither gambier, 
areca-nut, nor lime. Hence the Malays often ascend 
the river, their canoes laden with a tempting variety 
of these particular articles, and the Jakun, unable to 
resist the desire of calling some of them his own, 
needs little persuasion to become indebted to the 
Malay trader for any amount the latter may choose to 
impose upon him. The Jakun now finds himself in 
possession of a few of those things which bring him 
nearer the Malay, and at the same time under an 
obligation to collect rattans for his creditor, various 
kinds of eagle - wood, (" gharu '* and " chandan "), 
camphor, resin or "dammar," wax, and "gutta taban." * 
These articles, with the exception of the " dammar," 
of which he makes torches, are articles of no value in 
his own eyes, but in which his forests so abound 
that, if a more equitable system of exchange were 
established between him and the Malays, he would 
not only find himself in possession of a large supply 
of all those articles which are now sparingly doled out 
to him, but actually also of a growing capital. The 
collection of the above commodities, however, does 
not form a constant or regular employment for any of 

' Hcrvey, in/. R, A. S,, S. B,y Na I was told they were loo busy getting 

8, pp. 103, 104, says, in writing of the rattans for the Malays, which they do 

Jakun of Johor : " At this place, Kam- at a fixed price in rice and other 

pong Kenalau, I found a clearing, but articles, such as clothing, crockery, 

no cultivation ; on asking the reason, parangs (choppers), salt, and tobacco." 


the Jakun. It is only when there is an unusual 
demand for any of them in Singapore that the Malays 
hurry to the interior and induce the Jakun to engage 
for a time in procuring a supply of whatever happens 
to be in request. At the period of Logan's visit 
nearly every man in the country was searching for 
** gutta taban/' to which the name of " gutta-percha," 
a gum yielded by a different tree, is erroneously 
applied by Europeans. This tree was one of the 
commonest in the forests of Johor. It is not found 
in the alluvial districts, but in undulating or hilly 
ground (such as that which occupies the centre of 
the Peninsula between the Endau and the Batu 
Pahat) it occurs frequently, and in some places 
abundantly. Wherever Logan penetrated he found 
that collectors of " taban " had preceded him.* 

The Jakun, after felling the tree, " ringbarks '' 
the trunk by making an incision completely round it, 
from which the viscous milk flows. Similar incisions 
are made at distances of from 6 to 18 inches through- 
out the entire length of the trunk. The rings are 
no broader than the blade of the chopper with which 
they are made, no bark being removed save the 
rough superficial coating for an inch or two on each 
side. Many trees felled by Malays had rings of bark 
to the breadth of about an inch cut right out instead 
of a single incision. A Malay woodman who had been 
employed in different places in procuring the gutta 
stated that this was the usual Malayan system. The 
bark is not stripped off the tree, as has been stated. 
Logan asked both the Malays and the Jakun in different 
parts of the country whether they could not procure the 
gutta in the same way as they collect the dammar, 

^ /. /. A, voL i. pp. 260, 261. 

234 MODES OF BARTER part ii 

without destroying the tree. But the answer always 
was that the "taban" would not run like dammar, 
or like many other guttas, such as caoutchouc, and 
this is probably the fact. Varying statements were 
made as to the produce per tree, the extremes 
mentioned being two kati's and fifty kati's,^ but it is 
doubtful whether anything near the latter quantity is 
ever obtained from a single tree. Many of the Jakun 
who had been engaged for some months in collecting 
assured me that they had occasionally obtained as 
much as eighteen kati's, but never more, and that the 
quantity obtained is usually nearer from three to five 
kati's than it is to the maximum mentioned. Logan 
described the collection of " taban " at length, because 
nearly the whole of the Jakun tribes had for some 
time past been withdrawn by it from their usual 
pursuits. They were not, however, under any ap- 
prehension that it could be extirpated, as it was 
only full-grown, or nearly full-grown, trees that repaid 
the labour of felling them and extracting the gutta, and 
the younger trees which they were compelled to leave 
would be amply sufficient (they believed) to keep up 
the stock. They were, no doubt, to some extent correct, 
but the effect of thinning out the ** tabans '' too rapidly 
had already been to reduce the annual supply of seed 
and seedlings. The seeds were eaten by the Jakun, 
but they did not, like the Malays in some countries 
{e.g. at Siak), extract an edible vegetable tallow from 

Of the methods in which the other articles of traffic 
yielded by the jungle were procured, Logan con- 
sidered it unnecessary to speak at any length, because 
he did not learn that they differed in any respect from 

* A "kati"=ijlbs. « /. /. A, vol. i. pp. 262. 263. 


those adopted by the Malays. He mentions, how- 
ever, that both races had very superstitious ideas 
regarding the collection of camphor. When engaged 
in searching for it they abstained from certain kinds 
of food, ate a little earth, and used a kind of artificial 
language, which was called the ** Camphor Language " 
("bhasa kapor"). This language Logan found to be 
the same on the Sedili, the Endau, and the Batu Pahat. 
From specimens which he subjoined it appears that 
most of the words are formed from the Malayan, in 
many cases by a mere periphrasis, such as "grass- 
fruit" for "rice," "far-sounder" for "gun," "short- 
legs " for " hog," " leaves " for " hair," etc.^ 

It was believed that if care were not taken to use 
this " Camphor Language," great difficulty would be 
experienced in finding camphor trees, and that when 
found the camphor would not yield itself to the 
collector. Whatever may have been the origin of 
this superstition, it was evidently based on the fact 
that iilthough camphor trees were abundant, it very 
frequently happened that no camphor could be ob- 
tained from them. " Were it otherwise," said an old 
Jakun, who was singularly free from superstition, 
" camphor is so valuable that not a single full-grown 
tree would be left in the forest." Camphor was not 
collected by the Berembun tribes, at least on the 
western side of the Peninsula, and they were, there- 
fore, unacquainted with this Camphor Language.^ 

But the present sketch of the Jakun trade in 
jungle produce would be incomplete were no reference 
made to the regular organisation established by the 
Malays for the purpose of exploiting their unsuspect- 
ing neighbours. 

* y. /. A, vol. i. pp. 263, 264. • lb, pp. 265, 266. 

236 MODES OF BARTER part n 

The Malayan Penghulu, Jinang,^ or other head- 
man in each river-district was also the head of the 
monopoly of trade with the Jakun. Hence traders 
entering the river most commonly visited him, and he 
either supplied them from his own store, or purchased 
what they required from the riverain Malays, or 
allowed them to do so themselves. This system was 
enforced with more or less rigour, according to the 
character of the Penghulu, but traffic was always to a 
certain extent carried on without his intervention, 
though strangers were absolutely prohibited from 
trading with the Jakun direct.* 

To get a more complete understanding, however, 
of the system by which this monopoly was maintained 
and worked, it is necessary to explain the scheme a 
little more fully. 

The Malays settled on the rivers leading into 
the country of the Jakun might be divided into three 
classes: (i) the Penghulu and his relatives and 
dependants; (2) the Johor Malays (who frequently 
belonged to Telok Blanga, and enjoyed a certain 
consideration and prestige owing to their means and 
their Singapore connexion) ; and (3) miscellaneous 
settlers who did not possess these advantages. The 
trade with the Jakun was chiefly in the hands of the 
first and second classes, who acted in concert. The 
prices at which purchasable articles were to be valued 
was from time to time regulated by the Penghulu, who 
in this, as in all other matters, consulted the principal 
men of the river. The Penghulu next conferred with 
the Jakun chiefs or Batins, and so managed the dis- 
cussion as to carry the point already agreed upon. 
The principle on which the sliding scale of prices was 

J Cp. /. /. A, vol. i. pp. 273, 274. * lb. p. 286. 


managed was simply that of maintaining a high value 
for anything that was sold to the Jakun, and a low one 
for what was bought from them. When the Jakun 
rice -harvest had been reaped, they were persuaded 
that rice was everywhere so plentiful that its price 
was very small, and that, on the other hand, the price 
of cloth had advanced as much above as the price of 
rice was depressed below that of the Singapore market. 
The conclusion of all the inquiries made by Logan, and 
of numerous instances of barter of which he was a wit- 
ness, was that the Malays sold the goods which they 
purchased in Singapore at advances of from 100 to 400 
per cent, whilst they bought "taban," camphor, 
dammar, and other produce of the forest at from 100 
to 400 per cent below the prices which they received 
in Singapore. Thus a voyage of two or three days 
enabled the Malay to double or quintuple the value 
of goods transferred from Singapore to Johor and 
from Johor to Singapore. As the trade was almost 
entirely carried on by barter, the Malays had a double 
profit on every transaction. Yet they were not 
satisfied with having established this vulture -like 
system of trade. They resorted, besides, to every 
indirect means of enhancing their gains that was at all 
consistent with the preservation of the trade. They 
made, for instance, advances of goods, and as their 
debtors were entirely unacquainted with writing and 
accounts, they had little difficulty in exacting far more 
than the stipulated return from those Jakun whose 
memories were not very tenacious ; for the return 
was made in small quantities from time to time, as 
the jungle produce happened to be collected. But 
the most certain and constant mode of defrauding the 
Jakun was in weighing the goods which were the 




subject of the bargain. This was generally done very 
hurriedly, and when a pretence was made of doing it 
more carefully the beam was brought into a horizontal 
position, not by the counterpoise of the weights, 
but by the finger of the Malay. This method of 
weighing had, at the time of Logan's visit, become so 
general, that although the Jakun generally were 
aware that the Malays did not weigh fairly, and some 
had even acquired so much knowledge of the balance 
as to point out in what the fraud consisted, the Malay 
would laugh it off, insist that it was all right, and 
either deliver the article to one of his attendants, or 
toss it into his canoe. To show more definitely the 
extent to which the Malays took advantage of the 
ignorance of the Jakun, Logan added the following 
lists of prices of various articles, as ascertained in 
several localities : — ^ 

Trade on the Sembrong. 
Articles sold to the Jakun, 

Local Price. Singapore Price. 

Tobacco per kati ' 

Salt per gantang 

Coconuts each 

Common ** sarongs'* or skirts . . each 

Bugis ** sarongs " (inferior) .... 
White cotton jackets (**bajus") . . each 

Headkerchiefs each 

Common red cotton cloth . . per yard 
LAige plate (common) .... each 
Small plate (common) .... each 

Saucers each 

Cups each 

$ c 

5.00 to 6.00 
.38 to .75 

% c 



.01 to 


1.00 to I 






1 /. /. A. vol. i. pp. 286, 287. But 
see n. to p. 95, ante, 

^ These are the actual prices ex- 
amined, and the Singapore prices in 

general are those of articles of the 
same quality. A <*kati'*asl^ lbfi.s 
Y^ pikul. A << gantang" varies, but 
roughly ss i gallon. 




Articles bought from 

the Jakun 


Eagle-wood (lignum aloes) per kati 

Camphor per kati 

Dammar per pikul 

Benjamin (mixed) . .per pikul 

Local Price. 

Singapore Price. 




.50 to .66 

.57 and up- 

.60 to .80 

On the Lenggiu. 
Articles sold to the Jakun} 

Rice (coarse and uncleaned) per 5 gantangs 
Tobacco per kati (of about 12 tahils) 

Salt per 13 gantangs 

I small earthenware pan or ** blanga'' . 
I small rice-pot or saucepan (" kuali ") . 

I large rice-pot 

I chopper or parang ..... 
I common kmfe 

Local Price. Singapore Price. 

$ c. 
1. 00 

1. 00 








.09 to .10 





Orang Laut or Sea- Jakun. 

Sabimba. — The colony of Orang Laut who were 
living {circ. 1850) near the source of the Tembrau 
(which falls into the ** SSlat Tembrau" or *'01cl 
Strait" of Singapore, opposite the most northerly 
point of the island) consisted of twenty -five men, 
thirty women, and fifteen children. They were slaves 
of the reigning Chief of Johor (Temenggong), being 
under a Malay "Jinang," who employed them in 
collecting "taban," '* dammar," rattans, eagle-wood 
("gharu"), ebony, " chandan," and wax. In return 
he supplied them with rice, sago, and (very rarely) 

1 /. /. A, voL L p. 288. 


240 MODES OF BARTER part ii 

with a little cloth. Other Malays were also allowed 
to carry on a little trade (by barter) with them,* and 
by this means they obtained a supply of axes, hatchets, 
earthenware, cooking-pots, iron pans, salt, chillies, 
and tobacco.^ 

Elsewhere we read of the Sabimba tribe as con- 
sisting of eighty individuals, young and old, and as 
being employed in cutting rattans for the Malays, 
who furnished them with rice, weapons, and utensils 
in return.' 

Orang Muka Kuning. — The Orang Muka Kuning 
(we are told) were entrusted to the care of a Malay 
headman or Batin, named Pajar, who lived on Pulau 
Loban,and was appointed by the chief (Yam-tuan Muda) 
of Rhio. He visited them from time to time, bring- 
ing rice and other articles, and receiving in return the 
jungle produce that they had collected for him. We 
are further expressly told that the Orang Muka 
Kuning were prohibited from trading with other 
persons "under penalty of a ducking.*' Rattans, 
dammar, and eagle-wood they barter for rice, cloth, 
implements, tobacco, and salt.* 

For looo rattans they received four " gantangs " 
of coarse rice;* for loo dammar torches, six ** gan- 
tangs"; and for one basketful (measuring i^ foot 
deep and broad) of eagle- wood, four ** gantangs " of the 
same commodity .* 

Beduanda Kallang. — Similarly we are told that the 
Beduanda Kallang were fishermen and foresters, 
dividing their time equally between the two pursuits, 
and that they were in the habit of collecting jungle 

> Except in «uban," which they >/./.^. vol. L p. 298. 

cannot dispose of to others under pain • lb. p. 347*. * /J. p. 337*. 

of a ducking. ^ lb. * lb. p. 338*. 


produce for a Malay headman under the reigning 
chief (Temenggong) of Johor, who had charge of 

Orang Akik. — The Orang Akik erected temporary 
sheds along the coast whenever they had occasion to 
go ashore, to collect dammar and wood-oil, etc., etc. 
For months together, however, they resided in their 
boats, employed not only in fishing, but in collecting 
agar-agar (Zosterd), and tripang or bSche-de-mer 
{Holothuria), etc. When the season or the weather 
did not permit of this, they employed themselves in 
gathering wood and pork-oil.* 

* /. /. A, vol. L p. 300. = " hog's grease,** the Malay for 

^ Su m origiiial, bat I cannot be which (*<minyak babi") may be so 

sure what is meant by '* pork-oil," translated; v, ante^ p. 129. New- 

as I think most probable, it bold, ii. 413, 414. 



such articles as ** axes/* ** spears," and ** knives," ^ does 
not, unfortunately, prove that the material of which 
these implements were made was necessarily any sort 
of stone ; whereas the fact adduced by Wray that no 
single stone spear-head or chopper (or, I may add, 
arrow-head) has ever yet been found in the Peninsula 
(although in several dialects aboriginal names for them 
occur) appears conclusive in the opposite sense.* 

On the general question, Grllnwedel, in reporting 
the receipt of forty-nine stone implements (**batu lintar ") 
sent home by Vaughan-Stevens from the Malay Pen- 
insula, remarks that these implements are distributed 
throughout the entire Indian Archipelago, and reappear 
even in Further India, Burma, Cambodia, etc. Vaughan- 
Stevens could not say what race they were once used 
by, for neither the (civilised) Malays nor any of the 
wild tribes knew anything certain either about their 
origin or their use. The latter paid no attention to 
them when they met with them on their wanderings, 
and the superstitious Malays only believed them to be 
the missiles of evil spirits, and, when they found them, 
would store them away in their huts without having 

1 Clifford in/. R, A. 51, S. B., Na (5) Skinning-knife (?). It i»a ** flat, 

24, p. 27. thin lamina of diorite or greenstone, 

* Wray, Per, M. N, iii. p. 3. Mr. slightly concave and convex, and 

H. N. Ridley informs me that he has measures about i foot in length by 

found about seven main types of stone 2 inches wide by about ^ of an inch 

implements in Kelantan. The seven thick in the thickest part, 
chief types obtained were as follows: — (6) Small knife. 

(1) Stone club (or mallet?). (7) Large knife or chopper. 

(2) Stone chisel or gouge (New According to Mr. Ridley, the sup- 
Guinea type). [It may, however, be posed agate of which these implements 
doubted whether these so-called chisels are often said to be made was probably 
are in reality chisels or axes. Of the a burnt diorite. 

latter there are two types : ( i ) the axe Not a single specimen either of a 

whose head Bts into a socket; (2) the spear -head or of an arrow -head was 

one whose long and chisel - shaped found, 
head goes through the helve. — Ed.] For a recent find in Pahang, z'. Swan 

(3) Stone adze (ordinary Teninsular, in Ma*t^ 1904, 34 (with diagrams). 
ue, Malayan type). The most curious of these specimens is 

(4) Stone adze (New Guinea type). the stone ring here figured. 



Jakun Man in Hunting Accoutrkments, 

showing bArk-jlolh girdle, blowpipe, and quiver, with hone fastener. Ulu Hatu, Sclangor. 

Vol. I. /. 245. 


any idea of their real use. They are found at various 
depths below the surface, and although nothing cer- 
tain is known about them in the Peninsula, yet as the 
various wild tribes nevertheless assert that in former 
days a race of men, differing both from themselves and 
the Malays, lived in the Peninsula, it may be assumed 
that it is to them that the use of stone implements is 
tacitly attributed, though this evidence is altogether 
too ^ague \o rely upon.^ 

By the aid of the microscope traces of copper and 
iron may be identified on these stones. The stones 
showing such traces are used by the Malays to fur- 
nish tips for the metal spurs of their fighting-cocks, 
since they believe that tips thus furnished cannot be 
blunted. The Malay children play with them, and 
try to make them smoother than they were when first 
found.' In no case did Vaughan- Stevens discover 
them in situ, the specimens being all obtained from 
Malays during his twelve months* journey between 
Johor and Kelantan.' 

Stone implements are numerous in Pahang, Negri 
Sembilan, Selangor, and South Perak, very rare in 
Johor and Kelantan. Sometimes they occur in Kedah 
and Trengganu, but are very rarely found in Patani.* 

The ailments bearing upon this most difficult 
subject were excellently stated many years ago by 
Wray, who, in an article on the cave-dwellers of Perak, 
remarked that it had been somewhat too rashly taken 
for granted that the cave-dwellers (of Perak, etc.) were 
the makers of the stone implements which had been dis- 

1 V, B, G, A, xxiii. 832. obtained from the eastern sea-coast 

2 But their roost important use among of the Peninsula, and the abundanoe 
the Malays is medicinaL of those found on the western coast, 

3 V, B, G, A. xxiiL 833. point to the possibility of their having 
* Vaughan-Stevens, iii. loi. The been introduced from some part of 

comparative rarity of the specimens Sumatra. 


covered in such abundance in Perak and the neighbour- 
ing states. The least reflection would have served to 
show that these implements indicated a much higher 
intelligence than would be compatible with the evidences 
afforded by the remains discovered in the caves.^ 

All the stone implements were of axe or chisel 
blades, and not one single spear-head had ever been 
found. The second division of the stone age was 
divided from the first by the introduction of axe- 
pointed implements and all the important advances 
that were indicated by the use of this type of tool. 
If the cave people had been acquainted with the use 
. of stone, they would almost certainly have employed 
spear-pointed implements of the rudest kind ; as when 
they had advanced as far as the making of chisels and 
axe-pointed tools, they would have been able to build 
houses and be independent of the shelter of caves, 
and have been in a position to cultivate the soil and 
raise food instead of having to subsist on shell-fish and 
the animals of the jungle. The multiplicity of the 
types of stone implements found in Perak showed that 
the users of them must have been in a comparatively 
high state of civilisation.*. 

The remarkable absence of all palaeolithic patterns 
might be explained by supposing that there had never 
been a period in this part of the world when the ruder 
implements were in use, but that the people (who- 
ever they were) that employed them were settlers 
from some other locality who on arrival had reached 
the second stage of the stone age. There was of 
necessity no means of fixing, even in the most ap- 
proximate manner, the date of the introduction of the 
use of stone in Perak, but the similarity of the types 

* L. Wray, Cave-tkoelUrSy pp. 43, 44. Cp. VHommt^ iu 494 seq, - lb. 


of the implements was quite sufficient to indicate that 
it was a continuation of the same wave of progress 
which led to the evolution of these tools in other 
countries. This was, of course, far from saying that 
the stone age in Malaya had been contemporaneous 
with that of Europe. The number of the stone im- 
plements was, however, as striking here as in other 
parts of the world, pointing indubitably to the long 
continuance of the use of these lithic tools.^ 

The finding of a few implements in the cave- 
deposits would by no means prove that the in- 
habitants of these caves were the makers of them, but 
only that they were of the same age. For it was 
quite likely that there had been two races of different 
degfrees of advancement living in the country at the 
same time, and that the lower might occasionally 
acquire either by barter or other means the weapons 
of the higher race. In the same way the wild tribes 
were now accustomed to the use of iron axes, pottery, 
clothes, and other things bought from the Malays, 
whilst the Malays themselves in turn used articles of 
European manufacture.* 

The aborigines, again, might well have been able 
to fashion weapons out of bamboo with knives made of 
the same material (especially when hardened by the 
application of fire), and these would be probably 
supplemented by the use of sharp fragments of stone 
[as well as of bone]. In this way it would be quite 
possible to make bamboo-pointed spears, blowpipes, 
darts, and bows and arrows. Bamboo weapons'would, 
of course, have left no trace, in view of the long 

1 L. Wray, Cave-dwtllers, p. 43, 44. Bozzolo, about 150 specimens obtained 
Mr. Wiay informs me that he purchased in Ulu Perak, and Pfttam. 
for the Perak Museum, from Mr. ' Ibid. ; cp. Wray, Joum» F, M. S. 

Mhs. I. i. pp. 13-15. 


period that must have elapsed since they had been in 
use. That the aborigines used fire was abundantly- 
evident, and this, in the hands of other savages, had 
been made into a most effective means of shaping 
wooden objects./ 

In other words, the rudimentary stage of culture 

through which these tribes have passed, and in some 

cases are still passing, may perhaps be more accurately 

y described as a " wood and bone " age than as an age 

of stone. 

To sum up, we may conclude that the wild tribes 
(Sakai and Semang) were not the manufacturers of the 
stone axes and chisels found in the Peninsula, and the 
case in fact appears to be a close parallel to that of 
the Andaman islanders, of whom Man has recorded 
(p. i6i) that " they never, even when iron was scarce, 
made arrow-heads, axes, adzes, or chisels of stone." 

The following list includes, on the other hand, 
the stone implements which certainly are, or are at 
all likely to have been formerly used by the wild 
tribes of Malaya. They are the anvil and hammer 
recorded by De Morgan (consisting of an upper and 
a lower stone),* the whetstone,'^ chips or flakes used as 
knives, and cooking -stones/ To this list, which so 
J far agrees with the list of implements used by the 
Andamanese, may be added the stone rasp or file, 
consisting usually of a piece of sandstone,^ which is 
used especially for filing the teeth among the Pangan 
of Kelantan. 

On the other hand, the wild aborigines of the 
Hills (Orang Bukit) of to-day, who possess no imple- 

* L. Wray, Cave-dweUers^ p. 46. is osed ; qx Hale, p. 286. 

* De Morgan, vii. 415. * V, supra, p. 124, etc 
' Sometimes a stone axe-head itself * F. in/ra, vol. iL 33. 


ments of iron, rely almost entirely upon wood or 
bone for the blades of their weapons, as well as for 
all their implements.^ 

Knives and Spears. 

The most primitive form of knife, and at the same 
time the most natural form for the country, still to be 
found among the wild tribes (as also on some cere- 
monial occasions among the Malays) consists of a 
sharp sliver of bamboo, which makes a very fair knife. 

It is possible, and perhaps even probable, that 
flakes and chips of stone may have been used in 
former times when the knife of Malay civilisation was 
not procurable,- and when the work required could 
not be performed by a knife of bamboo,^ or bone. 

The Malay '* dagger " or " kris " and other kinds 
of Malay weapons are also occasionally used by the 
wild tribes, especially the Jakun, but wooden and bone 
awls (for boring purposes) are used to this day.* 

In its earliest form the spear of the country 
seems to have been some form of throwing-stick or 
"squailer," the use of which has been recorded 
among the Jakun by Logan ,^ whilst at least two 
forms of it^ are certainly still known to the Pen- 

^ De la Croix, p. 340, where this being more effective than might at first 

statement is, however, confined to the be supposed. In Borneo, for instance, 

SakaL a bamboo knife is used by the exe- 

' Capt J. Bradley, p. 298, also cutioner for catting off heads ; being 

mentions finding in one of the tree- merely sharpened whenever it is used, 

huts which he discovered "a curious * For examples, see pp. 316 and 

instmment made of bone, and appar- 329, infra, 

ently intended to serve as a knife." * For the spear, v, J. /. A, vol. i. 

And on p. 331 he says : «* The cmly p. 257, and Lake in/. R, A, S,^ S. B,, 

other articles found were a number of No. 25, p. 3. It is pre-eminently a 

sharpened stones, serving the purpose '' savage Malay " weapon, and is used 

of knives.*' Cp. p. 269, u, i, infra. universdiy by the Jakun. 

' Such cases would, however, be * One sharpened at one end, the 

exceedingly rare, these bamboo knives other at both. 


insular Malays.^ The bamboo spear is still largely 
/ used, especially by the wilder aborigines. The metal 
spears, which are of several types (all of them 
Malayan), are used for fishing as well as hunting. 

The fact that no stone spear-head has yet been 
found in the Peninsula is certainly a notable one, and 
may point to the fact that the spear-heads used by the 
men of the Malay stone age were made of bamboo 
or of some other equally perishable material. There 
is little differentiation of metal spear-types as between 
the aborigines, doubtless owing to the fact that all 
have borrowed alike from the Malay. In war, spear- 
\/ heads are sometimes lashed to the muzzle-end of a 


The hatchets now used by the wild tribes 
throughout the Peninsula are obtained by barter or 
purchase from the Malays, except, perhaps, in a few 
cases in which some sort of rude substitute is roughly 
forged. Even in the latter case, however, the blades 
are, I believe, invariably copied from Malay models, 
and there appears to be no record of the use of 
an independent axe -type among either Sakai or 
Semang, even though they may (and certainly do) 
have non- Malay names for them.*^ 

On the other hand, there is, I believe, a good 
deal still to be learnt from the nature of the rattan 

' Cp. J. Bradley, p. 298 : ** Outside sticks, intended, apparently, as missile 

the (tree-) huts a number of spears weapons. Several of them had traces 

were laid amongst the branches of the of blood and feathers adhering to 

trees. They consisted merely of long them, as if they had been used for 

sticks of hard wood sharpened at both knocking down birds.'* 
ends." And cp. also f 5. p. 320: "Some ^ Capt. J. Bradley (p. 298) alone 

of them (the wild men) seized their mentions finding in a tree-hut " a sort 

spears, or pointed sticks." Also p. of tomahawk, formed by fixing a 

331 : ''In the interior of one of the pointed stone upon a stidc." 
huts were a number of short thick 


lashings by means of which the adze-head is made 
fast to the helve, for I was repeatedly assured t)y 
Malays living in the Besisi and Blandas country 
(on the Langat) that the difference between the 
lashings of a Malay and a Jakun adze-head could be 
detected without the least difficulty by the expert. 


All branches of the wild tribes now generally 
possess some form of firearm, which most usually 
takes the shape of an old Tower musket, and is not 
unfrequently owned, or at least used, in common by 
all the men of the tribe who claim it. 

These guns are obtained by barter at extortionate 
rates from friendly Malays or Chinamen. 

The use of firearms by the Sakai and Semang 
appears, however, to have been of extremely recent 
date, as it is only since the establishment of a strong 
government in the Malay States that there has been 
any sort of peace between them and the Malays, and 
before the establishment of this peace the Malays 
were not likely to be willing to put such dangerous 
weapons in the hands of their victims.^ 

The Bow. 

The use of the bow in the Peninsula is confined 
to those tribes which are (wholly or partly) of N^rito v-/ 
origin. It is indubitably their chief tribal weapon, as 
the blowpipe appears to be that of the Sakai,* and as 
the spear is that of certain of the Jakun tribes. 

There are, it is true, several references in old 
writers to the use of the bow by Sakai and Jakun, 
but upon examination it will easily be seen that they 

* Sec/. /. A. Yol. i. p. 272. * Cp. Dc Morgan, vii. 415. 


are not of such a character as to shake the statement 
made in the forgoing sentence. Some of these 
statements, especially those of M.-Maclay/ De la 
Croix,^ and perhaps even De Morgan and Maxwell, 
are due to the fact that none of these writers were 
able to distinguish between the Sakai and the 
Semang, and habitually applied the term *' Sakai " to 
groups of Negritos. Pleyte, therefore, in his great 
monograph on "the Blowpipe and the Bow," was 
perfectly right in correcting M.-Maclay, who is perhaps 
the most typical example of this class of writer. And 
although it must be admitted that when all these 
statements (based on misnomers) have been dis- 
counted, there still remain one or two testimonies 
to a knowledge of the bow, on unimpeachable authority 
(not on the part of the Sakai, but on that of the 
Jakun), even these latter yield to investigation. 

Lc^an, for instance, informs us that the bow and 
arrow were known to the Jakun (whom he calls 
" Benua ") ; but he immediately proceeds to qualify 
this statement by adding that though they were 
known they were not used, and I think there can be 
no very great doubt that the tradition was based on a 
rumour of the bows of the far-off Semang.' Again, 

1 Cp. M. • Maclay in /. R, A. S., latter point, see Pleyte, loc. cit. It 

S, B,^ No. 2, p. 214. is also entirely incorrect (as Pleyte 

Miklucho-Maclaysays,** Another not points ont) to describe the bow as a 

so dangerous, but ethnographically a Sakai weapon, it being the distinctive 

much more important weapon, is the weapon of the Negrito tribes. The 

bow (Moids'), the use of which I have alleged Sakai bow described by 

only seen among the unmixed Orang Miklucho- Maclay is, as his map shows, 

Sakal It is about two metres long, is a Pangan bow, and it is very unlikely 

made of bamboo, and the arrows have that the arrows, still less the bow, would 

iron pdnts.*' This quotation, however, be of bamboo. Lastly, for ** loids " we 

is a tissue of misstatements. The bow should read *' loidd *' or * ' loydd," which 

of the aborigines of the Malay Peninsula is the ordinary Semang name for 

can neither be described as more im- the bow. 
portant ethnographically nor as less > De la Croix, p. 331. 

dangerous than the blowpipe, on which ^ Logan in J. /. A, vol. L ^p. 272. 


another observer (quoted by Pleyte ^), when staying 
in Singapore, observed and described in detail some 
methods of arrow-release employed by the Temiang 
tribe (of the Orang Laut), and states that the bow of 
which he writes was used for shooting small game and 
fish ; adding that the same weapon was employed in 
the magic ceremonies of the tribe.^ 

This account, at first sight, seems clear enough, 
but it has to be noted that the giver of the informa- 
tion had come from Sumatra, and that what he was 
describing was probably a Sumatran custom, and had 
nothing to do with the customs of the " Orang Laut." 
If correct, it is one of the interesting instances of 
Semang influence in the south, of which we sometimes 
get examples. 

It cannot, therefore, be considered as yet estab- 
lished that the bow is employed as a tribal weapon 
by any tribes that are either of Sakai or Jakun ex- 
traction ; and I may add that there is very little prob- 
ability of its ever being so established. If, however, 
this should ever prove to be the case, it must certainly 
be in a mixed Semang-Sakai or Semang- Jakun tribe, in 
which the Negrito influence has remained so strong as 
to resist effectually the incursions of the alien culture. 
A survival of this kind is not impossible, even in the 
extreme south of the Peninsula, where the Semang 
influence, in small patches, is sometimes particularly 
strong. But apart from this remote possibility, I think 
that any idea of discovering the bow in use either as a 
Sakai or a Jakun weapon may once for all be definitely 
abandoned, and that, if it should ever happen to be so 
found among either of these two races, it will only be 
in the guise of a '* borrowed plume." 

> Iniemat. Arch,/. E, Bd. iv. S. 34 et seqq, * Doubtless as a ** fleam. »* 


There is not much more to add with regard to 
the bow, unless it be to note the fact that the bows 
of the Semang very closely resemble one figured by 
Man, who describes it as coming from the southern 
group of the Andamans.^ The bows from the North 
Andamans appear to be of a different character, and 
it is therefore in these South Andamans that it might 
be advisable to look first for evidences of connexion 
between Semang and Andamanese culture. Unfor- 
tunately, however, these are just the islands of which 
least is known, and I am therefore only able to draw 
attention to the subject as one that especially requires 
to be worked up. 

The Blowpipe. 

The distribution of the bamboo blowpipe or 
blow-gun, as Geiger, following Pleyte, has recently 
shown, is (with the possible exception of the Mentawai 
Islands) inseparably bound up with the use of Ipoh 
poison, the region covered being in either case 
limited, broadly speaking, to the confines of the 
Malayan region, using that word in its widest sense. 

In the Malay Peninsula itself the blowpipe is 
found among all tribes, from Johor, in the extreme 
south, to Singora, in the north.^ 

The blowpipe is to be seen in its highest develop- 
ent (as far as the Peninsula is concerned) among the 
Sakai, Besisi, and Mantra, whilst among the Semang 
(and some Jakun) it is found in its lowest and 
roughest form. 

The Sakai and Jakun, on the other hand (as has 
already been shown), do not employ the bow, the use of 

1 Cp. p. 280, n, I, infra, J. R. A. S., S. B,, Na 25, p. 3, and 

* M.-Maclayin/.^.^.^.,5.iff.,No. No. 26, p. 14. 
2, pp. 213, 214. For exceptions, v. 


which is confined to the Semang.^ It is in fact now 
quite certain that the natural weapon of the Semang 
is the bow, and that they only learnt the use of the i^ 
blowpipe from the Sakai. Hence even when they did 
take to it, they adopted it quite perfunctorily, and at 
no time took such trouble over its manufacture or pride 
in its possession as the two other races mentioned.* 

In the islands of the Malay Archipelago (in^ 
Borneo, for instance), the blowpipe consists of a long 
wooden barrel or tube the interior of which has to be 
bored out.' This method of manufacture is much 
clumsier and more laborious than that by which its 
bamboo fellow of the Peninsula is made, and it 
stands, I think, more or less to reason that if the 
wooden blowpipe of Borneo (or that made by some of 
the savage Malay tribes in the Peninsula) had had to 
be invented before the idea of utilising Bambusa 
Wrayi for the purpose had arisen, the bamboo 
blowpipe as we know it would never have existed. On 
the other hand, the sporadic existence of the wooden 
blowpipe may reasonably be due to the rarity or the 
absence of the particular species of long -jointed 
bamboo (Bambusa Wrayi) * from which the wild tribes 
of the Peninsula manufacture their blowpipes, for it is 
inconceivable that any intelligent race that had once 

^ Qk Swett p. 228 : *'The Sakai use that he has seen some beautifully made 

no other weapons than the blowpipe, blowpipes among the Semang of 

but the SemoDg have a very powerfid Upper Perak and Selama. 

bow and iron -barbed arrows, with ^ H. ling Roth, vol. ii. pp. 184-187. 

which they can kill the largest game." ^ Mr. Wray writes me that B, 

Cp. also De Quatrefoges, pp. 230, 231. Wrayi is only used by the Semang of 

* Thb remark applies espedally to Upper Perak and Selama, and the 

the Semang tribes furthest removed mixed Sakai -Semang tribes of the 

from Sakai influence, e,g, to the Plus district in Perak. In other 

Semang of Kedah, and perhaps in districts of Perak another species is 

some degree to the Pangan of Ulu used, of a kind not yet determined, 

Patani and Ulu Kelantan. On the with intemodes of 3 to 4 ft. in length, 

other hand, Mr. L. Wray writes me Cp. Wray, Per. M, N. iii. pp. 54-58. 


discovered the ready-made blowpipe of bamboo would 
ever again have resorted to the method of boring its 
tube out of wood, or to the perhaps still clumsier 
process of uniting a couple of wooden half-cylinders, 
which when fitted together do duty as a tube. 

Speaking generally, it appears on the whole 
most reasonable to suppose that the blowpipe was 
introduced into the Malay Peninsula by the Sakai, 
upon their first advent into that region, that it has 
since been perfected by the same race, and that the 
modern blowpipe of the Malayan tribes in the Penin- 
sula (as well as that of the Archipelago) was either 
an inferior imitation of the Sakai weapon, or else that 
^ the wooden blowpipe was an altogether independent 
invention, which appears at the best most improbable. 
'* The only point in which the Bomean blowpipe is 
in any way an improvement on that of the Sakai is in 
its possession of a "sight," which the Sakai blow- 
pipes are, I believe, universally without. Yet even a 
rifled blowpipe has been recorded from Perak,* and 
although the statement is unsupported, in all other im- 
portant respects — in the labour required for its construc- 
tion, in the important matter of weight, and in finish 
— the Bornean weapon is certainly inferior, not only 
to the Sakai blowpipe, but even to that of the Semang. 

The exact distribution of the various types of 
blowpipe in the Malay Peninsula yet remains to be 
worked out. Some information on this point is, how- 
Vi ever, already forthcoming. The most highly devel- 
oped (and decorated) type of blowpipe is, as has 
abready been said, found among the central Sakai 

^ See De Quatre^ages, p. 231 (^9^tf). ** choke-bore" blowpipe, soch as is 
This must be a mistake of M. Lias. found among the Besisi (9. p. 30S, 
I believe what he saw was a infra)^ 


(Senoi), the Besisi, and the Mantra. To these the 
Blandas of southern Selangor should, I think, be 
added. In its rarest form, that of the jointless tube, 
this blowpipe is only found within a yet more 
restricted area, i.e. in parts of Perak,^ and (according 
to one writer) in the Nenggiri^ district of Kelantan. 
Outside the geographical area covered by these tribes 
we find, as a rule, rougher and less-finished specimens 
of this weapon. The Semang of the north, for in- 
stance, and, as far as I am aware, the Semang alone, 
make use of a roughly made blowpipe which bears 
very little decoration, but which not unfrequently has 
a mouthpiece of native gutta or resin. 

The most interesting type, the wooden split-tubed 
blowpipe, which is identical with one used in Peru, is 
said to be '* only used south of the Pahang river in the 
state of that name."* Yet the specimen now in the 
British Museum came from Kuantan, which is a good 
way north of the Pahang river. Vaughan-Stevens is, 
however, probably right in stating that the tree from 
which this wooden blowpipe is made (Calophyllum, sp., 
called in Malay ** Pgnaga ") is used because it is proof 
against warping, but that it is only of local distribution. 

Quiver and Darts. 
What is true of the blowpipe in general, is true 
of the quiver and the darts. Thus the quiver of the 

1 Messrs. R. H. Yapp and Laidlaw between the old and new worlds consist 

(who were with me in 1899- 1900) in stone and bronze implements, round 

found the bamboo from which these towers, pyramids, coins, methods of 

blowpipes are made on Mt. Inas, on the embalming and skull - deformation, 

north Perak frontier, and obtained circumcision, early carvings of ele- 

single-jointed blowpipes in the same phants found in Central America, 

district. Mr. Yapp tells me that this and prehistoric tobacco - pipes found 

bamboo closely resembles the blowpipe- in Ireland. — Wray in Per. Mus. Notes ^ 

reed of S. America {Artmdinaria vol. iii. 
Schomburgkii^ Benth., Bamlmsea). ' V. B. G. A. xxiii. 834. 

Other proofs of prehistoric intercourse ' Vaughan-Stevens, I.e. 




Borneo natives presents several marked points of con- 
trast with the quiver used by the Sakai. The device 
of having a separate reed for each dart has not been 
adopted by the Borneans, who have, however, invented 
the long wooden ** hook " or " prong " which is attached 
to the quiver, and is inserted through the hunter's 
belt to keep the quiver in position. This appears all 
the more natural, since it is more likely to have been 
invented by a race wearing better and stronger loin- 
cloths than those of the Sakai, who may perhaps once 
have gone naked, and who still fasten their quivers 
about their waists with a cord/ 

As regards the dart, Professor Tylor was, I think, 
the first to point out as a general distinction that the 
blowpipe darts of south-east Asia do not have the 
\ butt made of cotton, whereas this is commonly the 
^ case with the dart of the South American Indians.^ 

Iron dart-points are never employed by Sakai or 
/ Semang, though they are used by Borneo natives, the 
^ point being always (among the former) of one piece 
with the shaft. The Semang dart is of much coarser 
and clumsier construction than that of the Sakai, and 
that of the Bomean is clumsier still, the shaft of the 
dart being driven right through the butt, so that it 
often slides up and down, a piece of bad workmanship 
not found among the Semang or the Sakai. 

1 For an account of the Borneo by the last-mentioned. He adds that the 

weapon, v. Ling Roth (ch. xxii. ). Here wooden cap is now used by the Sakai, the 

perhaps may be mentioned the somewhat rattan one by the Mantra, Besisi, and 

gratuitous assumptions of Vaughan- Kenaboi(V.-St ii. 120). Mr. Blagden 

Stevens, who considers the evolution tells me that the Malacca Mantra 

of the cap or cover used for the use wooden caps bound with rattan, 

quiver to have been carried out as ' For a good deal of miscellaneous 

follows: — (1) cover made from cuticle information about the darts (which, 

of trees, as used by the O. Kuantan however, is of small value in view of 

and (formerly) by O. Kenaboi ; (2) cap the way in which the tribes have been 

made of wood hollowed out by fire, as mixed up together), see Vaughan- 

used by the O. Sakai ; (3) cap made Stevens, ed. Grtlnwedel, in V, B. G, A. 

of wood hollowed out by a knife, as used xxiii. 835, 836. 


Use of Clay Pellets. 

Captain P. J. Begbie, an old and painstaking and 
(for his time) fairly accurate authority on the Malay 
Peninsula, records the shooting of clay pellets (as well 
as darts) from the blowpipe by the Jakun ^ at Malacca 
in 1833. This statement is confirmed by Mr. L.' 
Wray, who informs me that these pellets are often 
employed by bird-collectors at Malacca, where they 
have been used from time immemorial. Mr. Wray 
himself had a Malacca bird-collector (an Eurasian 
Malay) who used these pellets for collecting purposes 
in Perak. Mr. Douglas, of Sarawak, also tells me 
that boys in Borneo commonly use small clay pellets 1^' 
for shooting small birds, and that these pellets are 
shot out of a small blowpipe. 

Use of the Blowpipe? 

In loading, the blowpipe is held vertically in one 
hand and^^ the .pointed end of the dart inserted with 
the other mfo the orifice in the centre of the mouth- 
piece.* The latter is always fitted to the root-end 
of the bamboo. Into the tube of the blowpipe, and 
behind the butt-end of the dart, is almost invariably 
inserted a small wad for the prevention of " windage." 
This wad is made from the flocculent down that 

* BegUe, pp. 5, 6. for their reception), and he was only 

^ As an example of the extreme able to obtain four specimens altc^ther 

difficolty of obtaining information from (V.-St. ii. 113). 

the aborigines about the blowpipe, ' So Borie (tr. Bourien), p. 78 : 

Vaughan-Sterens remarks that many *' Into the bore of the inner bamboo, at 

Malays Hving near the O. Kuantan the mouthpiece, is placed an arrow 

have never seen their blowpipes, several inches long.'' For an unique 

though they know that they possess and questionable exception see Maxwell 

them. In some cases these weapons m/,R.A,S,^ S.B,, No. 4, p. 48 : *< I 

were Aid in ike stems of living bamboos had always regarded the blowpipe as a 

in the jungle (the nodes being removed breechloader," etc 




collects about the leaf-bases of certain palms, especially 
the " tukas " {Caryota Griffithii or C mitts), or certain 
kinds of rattan {Calamus geminifloris\ and results 
from the destruction of the softer tissues.^ 

In shooting, the entire mouthpiece is, as a rule, 
taken into the mouth, the fingers being commonly- 
crossed beneath the tube (near the mouthpiece). 
Sometimes, however, the edges of the mouthpiece 
alone are inserted between the teeth and the lips. 
As the dart leaves the tube, there is a sharp hollow 
** ping " like that of a pop-gun.^ 

Range of Dart, 

The effective range of the blowpipe darts used 
by the best *' shots " of these tribes may be put at from 
50 to 60 yards as an outside limit, but in practice a 
range of 100 feet is seldom exceeded.' 

1 Vaughan-Stevens, ii. Ii6. Really 
the fibro-vascular bundles of the leaf- 

^ Cp. Newbold, ii. pp. 400, 401 : 
*'It is propelled by collectii^ a con- 
siderable quantity of air in the lungs, 
and suddenly emitting it with a sharp 
noise resembling that occasioned by 
the discharge of an air-gun." 

* Cp., for example (of the Sakai), 
(I) Hale, p. 289, where it is stated that 
the range is effective up to 60 yards (55 
m.), and that at 50 3^ards (45 m.) a 
skilled performer will put five out of 
six darts into a playing card. 

(2) De Morgan (vii. 417) says they 
can shoot straight up to 80 metres, 
but in practice do not shoot more than 
30 to 35 paces (23 m. to 27 m.). 

(3) Letessier puts the range at 28-30 
yards (25 m. to 27 m. ), but he is no doubt 
speaking of the ordinary range of their 
shooting. They usually shoot at fairly 
short range, in order to make sure of 
their aim, as they do not wish to risk 
wasting their arrows. 

(4) J. A. G. Campbell says : "I have 
myself seen birds and monkeys killed 
on high trees at a distance of 60 
yards" (55 m.) ; and adds: «*The 
Sakai seldom misses his shot" {S, J. 
iii. 241). 

Of the Jakun— (I) Logan (in/. /. A. 
vol. it p. 262) states that the range 
(of the blowpipe-dart) to take proper 
effect is about 70 or 80 feet (21 m. 
to 24 m.). ** Some can reach 140 or 
150 feet (46 m. to 49 m.), but then 
there will be little chance of their 
inflicting a dangerous wound." 

(2) Borie (tr. Bourien), p. 78, says 
50-60 yards (45 m. to 54 m.). 

(3) Newbold, ii. 400, 401, puts the 
effective range at 60-70 feet (20 m.). 

(4) Vaughan-Stevens, in V, B, G, A, 
xxiii. 835, 836, puts it at 20-30 metres 
in a horizontal direction, and more 
in a vertical. 

(5) The Kuantan blowpipe is very 
roughly made ; it has a range of 40 
paces (30 m.) only (Vaughan-Stevens, 
ii. 113). 


The Use of Ipok. 

The question whether the use of Ipoh is of 
Malay origin must (says Geiger, p. 38) in all prob- 
ability be answered in the negative. It is clear, 
however, that he is here using the word Malay in its 
narrowest sense, as he subsequently points out (pp. 
40, 41) that the eastern boundary -line between those 
who use the blowpipe (and Ipoh) and those ^who do 
not does correspond to the boundary-line between the 
Malay and the Polynesian languages (p. 41). In this 
latter case he is clearly using the word Malay in its 
wider sense, as applied to what may be called 
'* Greater Malaya'* (including the countries inhabited 
by the " savage Malays " of Wallace). Moreover, he 
then proceeds to quote Brandes* remark, that ** the 
natives who use the blowpipe form one family of 

The true conclusion, after all, appears to be that 
the use of Ipoh may be of Malay origin, but only in the 
wider sense of the word; and in the same way, it is just 
conceivable that the blowpipe may be (in its wooden 
form at least) of ** Greater Malayan " origin. On the 
other hand, the wooden blowpipe is so different a 
weapon from the blowpipe of bamboo that it will 
perhaps be maintained that the two forms may have 
arisen independently. Even, however, if this was the 
case, the bamboo weapon must certainly have been 
invented in some country like the Malay Peninsula or 
Sumatra, where Bambusa Wrayi or longinodis is known 
to be indigenous ; and further, as has been remarked 
already, it is inconceivable that any intelligent race 
should descend to using the wooden form of blowpipe 
when it had once known and used the infinitely 


superior blowpipe of bamboo. The only other possible 
alternative seems to be to accept the wooden blowpipe 
as the original form, and to suppose that the race 
which invented it failed to improve upon it, the 
invention of the (improved) bamboo form being 
conceded to a race infinitely behind the Malayan 
race in the matter of culture. To speak frankly, this 
last alternative does not appear credible, and unless 
on the whole we prefer to concede the possibility of 
the invention of at least two independent blowpipe 
types in the Malayan region, we are forced back upon 
the first of these two alternatives, viz. : the supposition 
that the bamboo blowpipe was introduced by the 
Sakai, who subsequently perfected it, and that it was 
then more or less roughly copied by the aboriginal 
tribes of Malayan origin in districts where B. Wrayi 
was wanting. 

I have spoken mainly of the blowpipe itself, 
rather than of the poison that was used with its darts, 
partly because I think that Geiger has shown that for 
all practical purposes the introduction of the one 
meant the introduction of the other, and partly because 
it is easier to get at the facts about the blowpipe than 
it is to get at those about " Ipoh." But I will now 
proceed to a discussion of the poison itself. 

In remarking that the various kinds of Ipoh poison 
are, as a rule (though not exclusively), rather used for 
hunting than for warlike purposes, Geiger explains 
that both Ipoh antiar and derrid, taken internally, are 
practically harmless, whereas Ipnh tieij^e- on account 
of the strychnine contained in it, "might be dan- 
gerous." Hence the latter poison is usually em- 
ployed for the destruction of beasts of prey such as 
the tiger (Newbold and Malbec and Bourgeois), 


though it certainly is used for apes. And this is 
probably, as Geiger suggests, the reason why the 
part struck by a poisoned arrow is usually excised 
before the game so killed is cooked and eaten — a 
practice which is doubtless of far more importance in 
the case of some of these poisons {e.g. tieute) than it 
is in the case of the others. 

The arrow and dart poison called " Ipoh " by the 
Malays has obtained its native name from the fact that 
the two chief substances which (either separately or 
in combination) form its basis are derived from plants y^ 
distinguished, the one as the Ipoh tree (Aniiaris), and 
the other as the Ipoh creeper {Strychnos). Derris 
elliptica or " tuba,*' on the other hand, is but rarely 
used, so that the poison-mixture almost invariably 
contains one or other of the Ipoh's as its main 
ingredient. The action of these two chief poisons is 
very different, and the choice of one or the other is, 
as has already been pointed out, dictated by the 
circumstances of supply. Incomparably the most 
famous of these two ingredients is, however, the sap 
of the Ipoh o r Upas tree , which owes its notoriety 
to the inventions or exaggerations with which Foersch 
once ** amused the credulity of Europe." 

The deadly exhalations attributed to the Ipoh tree 
{Antiaris) certainly have, as has long been proved, no 
foundation whatever in fact, at all events so far as the 
tree itself is concerned. 

But it seems, on the other hand, well worth 
pointing out that the sap of the ** RSngas *' tree 
certainly produces at the least contact (as is well 
known locally) an extraordinary inflammation of the 
skin. When I was residing at Klang in Selangor, 
there was a fine Rgngas tree growing at the back of 


my house, and one day, not dreaming of the con- 
sequences, I ordered my Boyanese sais to climb the 
tree and lop off a few small branches which obscured 
the view. This he did, not knowing the tree, the 
result being that both his face and his hands quickly 
became inflamed and swollen beyond all recognition, 
and I was obliged to send him to hospital for treat- 
ment. This fact about the R6ngas tree sap is well 
known in Malaya, and taking it in conjunction with the 
fact that Rfingas sap often forms one of the ingredients 
of Ipoh poison, I cannot help thinking that here we 
have a quite possible source of the Upas-tree fable.^ 

Ingredients of the Poison, 

The proper proportions of the ingredients used in 
making the dart-poison of the wild tribes have doubt- 
less been ascertained by centuries of trial, and are 
now in many cases handed down from father to son. 
Although, however, the basis of the poison may be 
the same among all the members of a given tribe, the 
exact proportions, and even the exact ingredients, 
forming the *' blend " vary to a very great extent with 
the individual and (of course) with the locality and the 
season, and hence any conclusions reached must be 
necessarily general ones.^ 

^ For an actual legend of the Upas-tree got in exchange from the Malays, were 

type, see the Besisi tradition in vol. ii. mixed up together. It thus came to 

' According to M. - Maclay the pass that the dart-poison not only of 

chief ingredient of this poison was every tribe, but of every individual of 

the juice of the well-known Upas tree each tribe, was made up of different 

of the Javanese, the Antiaris toxicaria, materials, and that in consequence of 

With this juice a great many other sub- this the effects were very various. The 

stances were mixed, the number and effect on man was certainly very deadly 

nature of which depended partly on and very rapid : thoroughly trustworthy 

chance, and partly on the science of Malays in different parts of the Penin- 

the preparer. TTie poison fangs of sula told him that they knew from 

different kinds of snakes, the juices of actual observation that a man who had 

a number of trees and fruits, even been wounded by it was not able even 

arsenic, which the 'Hame'* aborigines to finish his *<sirih" (betel-chewing). 


Even Vaiighan-Stevens, who talks of the "real arrow 
poison " as if it were a certain definite composition 
(instead of a set of compositions), states that indi- 
viduals of the same tribe disagree as to the proper 
composition of the poison, and that if a man dreams of 
killing a beast even with some perfectly harmless 
substance, he will in future add this to the ingredients 
which make up his own particular " blend" of the 
poison in question.^ 

Miscellaneous Ingredients. 

The employment of pepper, tobacco, capsicum, 
onion, and other comparatively harmless ingredients 
may be due (vide Geiger, p. 18) to the fact of their 
pungent qualities being regarded as likely to produce 
inflammation. According to Van Hasselt, on the 
other hand, they are added to give the poison the 
desired consistency, but this does not seem very 
probable. Scorpions* stings and snakes' fangs, etc., 
are also added to the mixture, as well as Pangium 
edule, Reinw., which contains prussic acid. In this last 
case, however, as well as in that of some of the other 
ingredients just mentioned, Geiger points out that the 
poisonous principle is almost certainly evaporated by 
boiling, and it may well be that some of the substances 
aforesaid are employed rather for magical than for 
pharmacological reasons. 

Use of Mineral Poisons. 
Geiger further informs us (p. 18) that no single poison 
(of all those that he investigated) showed the slightest 

but was seized with violent cramps very rapid effect, even when adminis- 
and severe vomitings, and so died. In tered in very small doses {/. H. A. S,t 

experiments that M. - Maclay S, B., No. 2, pp. 213, 214). 
niade upon animals the poison had a ^ ii. 128. Cp. also il loS. 


« chemical trace of either arsenic or antimony in its 
composition. Hence he elects to consider them as 
pure plant poisons. On the other hand, the weight of 
native testimony (of all kinds) as to the addition of 
arsenic to these poisons is so universal and over- 
whelming, that I am inclined to think we have not yet 
quite got to the bottom of the matter, though in the 
view of Mr. L. Wray it is the use of arsenic by the 
Malays, in the cleaning of their kris (and other) 
blades, that has given rise to these reports. " As a 
dart-poison ** (Mr. Wray writes me), " arsenic would 
be useless, and it is not found in the Peninsula in a 
state in which even the Malays could extract it from 
its ores." It is sold in the bazaars, however, and may 
be used for special purposes ; e.g. in shooting tigers. 


As regards the durability of Ipoh poison, Geiger 
is doubtless right in ascribing the conflicting reports 
which characterise it in that respect to the variability 
of the ingredients composing the poison.^ There is 
almost certainly a great difference in durability 
between the poison obtained from the Upas creeper 
and that of the Upas tree. 

Effect of the Poison. 

Small birds or mammals when struck by a dart 
coated at the point with poison of an average 
strength are killed almost instantaneously, but bigger 
ones take, as a rule, some minutes to die. In the 
case of the largest and strongest monkeys the effect 
of the same (average) poison may take a quarter of 

^ Geiger, p. 24. The chemical the scope of this book, is AiUy treated 
aspect of the question, which is beyond by Geiger, ioc. cU. 


an hour or perhaps rather longer. In all cases the 
time which elapses before the animal dies depends 
naturally upon the strength of the poison which has 
been used.^ 

In the words of De Morgan, *'a man or (big) 
animal," struck by one of these poisoned arrows, feels 
for several minutes nothing but the pain of the wound. 
This is followed by muscular spasms and vomiting, 
and death follows in a few (more) minutes, if a strong 
preparation of the poison has been used. If, how- 
ever, the poison is no longer fresh (or in any way too 
weak), the agony lasts for several hours, in the course 
of which the wound inflames and acquires a bluish 

Vaughan-Stevens says that apes and gibbons when 
struck run a little further through the branches and 
then fall down in about twenty minutes — less if Upas 
(Ipoh) is added to the poison. Old men (of the wild 
tribes) say that Ipoh makes the poison spread more 
rapidly through the blood. Ipoh acts instantaneously 
even when hard and dry ; without it the poison works 
much more slowly.^ 


The antidotes mentioned by Geiger (p. 26 seqq.) 

consist of certain plant-roots,* the leaf-stalks of a tree 

called ** pule," ^ the chewed root of Hemandia sonoray 

L. ; as well as that of Ophioxylon serpentinum^ L., and 

* Cp. J. A. G. Campbell (p. 241): arrows of the Semang bow, but 
"For a large bird (as a horn- the Upas poison is used for these 
bill) or a monkey it takes about a as well as for the darts of the blow- 
quarter of an hour for the poison to pipe. 

work, after which time the animal ' ii. 128 ; andcp. Wray,/. A, /. Lc, 

falls to the ground ; with small birds * E,g. those of Crinum asiaticum^ 

or beasts the poison is almost in- L., or Radix ioxicaria^ Dutch, 

stantaneous. " ^ Sic ( ? sipulih) = Alstonia scholaris^ 

* Dc Morgan (vii 417; V Homme, Br. In Malay **pulih" = ** return to 
ii. 621) is here writing of the poisoned life." 


Andira Horsfieldi, Lesch. {Papilionacea:), as well as 
certain indescribable emetics such as that referred to 
by Friar Odoricus.^ 

To these may be added the plant called ** crab's- 
fat " (** I6mak kgpiting ")* mentioned by Newbold, and 
common salt, which is also (according to De Morgan) 
occasionally referred to as an antidote. According to 
the Malays, a particular kind of black maize if applied 
to the wound will act as a remedy. Some such 
substance may possibly be of use as an absorbent 
where a very mild preparation of poison is used, but as 
a rule the aborigines declare that the only remedy is to 
cut out the part affected immediately, whenever the 
strongest preparation of the poison (for which there 
is no known antidote) is used. This, however, is 
seldom possible, because even at a distance of from 
20 to 30 yards the aboriginal can drive his dart into 
the flesh up to the butt.* 

I. — Semang. 
Stone Implements — Knives and Hatchets. 
The attempt of Vaughan- Stevens to identify 
certain stone implements, of which he obtained models, 
with tools of East Semang or Pangan workmanship, 
can hardly be sustained, for the reasons already set 
forth, and it may, I think, be taken as a certainty that 
no branch of the Negrito race in the Malay Peninsula 
has ever arrived at a sufficiently advanced stage of 
civilisation to enable them to produce the highly 
finished neolithic implements that are so common in 
the Peninsula. On the other hand, it is exceedingly 
probable that the Semang, like their Andamanese 

> Odorici Lib, p. 21. * Newbold, ii. 403. 

' Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 128. 



cousins, formerly employed both chips and flakes of 
stone for various cutting purposes, as well as the 
simple two- stone apparatus which with the Anda- 
manese takes the place of hammer and anvil. 

Slivers of bamboo, again, were and still are un- 
doubtedly used by the Semang as knife-blades^ and 
spear-heads, whilst long needles and other boring 
instruments are made of bone or wood. 

For filing the teeth (Malay fashion) the Pangan 
employ a piece of sandstone. 

The iron knives ("pisau"), choppers ("parang" 
or "golok"), and hatchets (*' b*liong "), ordinarily 
employed by the Semang, are undoubtedly all of 
Malay origin, and are usually made by Malays, or by 
Chinamen following the ordinary Malay patterns, 
and have nothing particularly distinctive about them, 
which probably accounts for their being omitted from 
the accounts given by the usual authorities. I have 
ventured to draw attention to them, however, because 
even in cases where the blade may be actually of 
Malay manufacture, yet both the helve (or shaft) and 
its rattan lashings may be, and no doubt often are, 
distinctive of the race, and as such would repay any 
attention that might be given them. Indeed, I have 
often been informed by Malays that the axe-fastenings 
of the aborigines could be easily distinguished from 
those employed by the Malays in the same neighbour- 

The Malay dagger, or "kris," and the "Tower 
musket " have both found their way to some extent 
into the hands of the Semang, by whom they — 
especially the latter — are greatly prized. 

' Mr. G. C. Bellamy has sent me a of Ulu Jelei, Pahang; cp. p. 249, 
boDe-hafted knife, from the " Pangan " ante, «. 2. 


The Spear, 

Kedah Semang. — Hardly any writer, except De 
J Morgan, mentions the use of the spear by the Negritos 
(Semang), though many talk of their bows and blow- 
pipes. It is, however, interesting to find that the 
Semang of Kedah have a word of their own for the 
spear, and that their name for it ^ is totally different 
both from the word used by the Sakai * and that used 
by the Jakun and Malays.* 

A spear which was collected among the Semang 
tribes of Upper Perak (Gunong Sapi) by Grubauer, 
and which is now in the Ethnographical Museum at 
Cambridge, measured 5 3^ in. ( 1 307 mm., over-all length) 
by about i in. (25 mm.) in diameter at the thickest part. 

Its shaft was made of some tough and heavy 
wood, and had received a certain amount of polishing. 
The upper end of the shaft tapered to a point, which 
its owner had evidently been in the habit of planting 
in the ground. Its blade, which was of iron, measured 
6^ inches (153 mm.) from point to shoulder, and a 
little less than an inch {ca. 20 mm.) in width. 

The Bow, 
Kedah Semang. — The Semang living at Siong were 
evidently quite familiar with the bow, as they described 
it to me minutely in every detail, but they told me 
that they had now given up using it. It is quite 
possible, on the other hand, that they were concealing 
their bows, as they are known not unfrequently to do. 
The bow (** loydd ") that they once used (and of which 

' ** Ad.'* For De Morgan's account support the view that the Sakai leamt 

cp. Vff, ii. 618. the use of the spear from the aboriginal 

« "Tarok" (Senoi dialect); "W- Malayan tribes, 

lush " (Tembeh dialect) : both of which » "Lembing" or **bolos"— con- 

words are of Malayan origin, and thus nected with Mai. **buloh"=:banbQO. 


De Morgan, 

Semang Implements. 

I. Semang bow. 2, 3. Arrows. 3 a. Transverse section of shaft. 4. Arrowhead with two barbs. 
S- Butt-end of arrow showing vanes and notch. 6. Arrows in their quiver. 7, 8. Bamboo tubes used 
2S poison receptacles. 9, 10. Spears with bamboo heads. 11, 12. Spears with iron heads. 13. Cane. 
M«, 14^. Bamboo fishing receptacles. 15. Large bamboo water-tube with arm. 16, 16 a. Wooden 
plaie. X7. Small box or receptacle made from the hard outer part of the " kapayang " fruit. 18. 
Bamboo whistle. 19,20. Flute*. 21. Bamboo "guitar" with strings made by raising the skin of the 
Wboo itself, and inserting wedges beneath them. 22. Drum with wooden barrel, and headed with 
slcin tightened by wooden wedges. 23. Bamboo Jew's-harp. 24, 24 a, b, Flint and steel, with bamlxx) 
receptacle.— De Morgan in L'H. 25th October 1885, p. 619. 

Vol. /. p, 970. 





















they made me a model) was, they said, roughly speaking, 
*' a fathom and a half " in height (probably 2.1 m. to 
2.4 m.), and was made of a kind of wood called, in 
the Semang dialect, " tSmSkih." The string was of 
twisted jungle-fibre and the arrows ("wong loydd") 
were of bamboo with barbed iron heads. 

I was further informed that the string was made from 
carefully twisted strands of tree-bark, greased and waxed,^ 
and the arrow-shafts from an intemode of bamboo. 

The same informants told me that the shafts of the 
arrows are often decorated with incised patterns, and 
have barbed-iron points which fit into a socket at the 
end of the shaft. This part of the shaft is bound 
round with a thin sliver of rattan, and the point is so 
fitted into it that any wounded animal that tries to 
rid itself of the arrow (by rubbing itself against the 
brushwood) may succeed in breaking off the shaft, but 
will leave the point sticking in the wound. A wound 
from this point, moreover (which is crusted with 
several coatings of Upas poison), soon kills its victim. 
The arrow is usually winged with feathers of the 
hornbill, and the point is rudely forged by pounding 
a red-hot piece of iron between two large stones. 

Perak Semang. — The Semang (of Perak) have a 
very powerful bow and iron-barbed arrows, with which 
they kill the largest game.^ It is usually about 7 ft. 
(2. 1 m.) in length, and the iron heads of the arrows, 
which are given a high finish, are of good workman- 
ship, and poisoned.' Mr. L. Wray writes me that 
the arrow-heads (of the Perak Semang) are made of 

* De M., who confirms this {VH, ii. = feathers or •* vane " ; and " go " = 

618), adds that sinews of wild animals quiver. The bow isof *Mbul" wood, and 

(deer or bull) are also used for the cord. 2 metres in length, with a curvature of 

' Swett. p. 228. According to 0.30 m. The arrow b 90 cm. in 

Dc M. "5k"— bow; "ya6" = bow- length. For further details, cp. 

string; " loi ** = arrow-point ; **preg" LH, ii. 618. ' Hale, p. 290. 


hard wood, of thin sheet-iron cut from meat-tins, etc. 
(mounted in wood), and also of forged iron, and that 
he has sent specimens of all these kinds to the 
British Museum from Selama and Upper Perak. 

Mr. Wray further states that, besides the blowpipe- 
darts, the Semang used bows with poisoned arrows. 
These arrows had detachable fore-shafts, with either 
barbed-iron or hard wooden heads. The heads are 
about 2 in. in length by f in. in breadth (50 mm. by 
19 mm.), and are thickly coated, except near the point, 
with poison. Mr. Wray had not seen the effect of 
one of these arrows on an animal, but the Semang 
amongst whom he lived for about three months on one 
occasion said that they were able to kill pig, sambhur 
deer, wild oxen, and even rhinoceros with them, and 
as he saw bones of these animals at their camps, there 
appeared to be no reason to doubt the truth of the 
statement. It was asserted that a deer would drop 
in from 30 to 40 yards (27 m. to 36 m.) after being 
struck by an arrow, the rapidity of the action of the 
poison depending on the vascularity of the portion 
of the body pierced by the arrow.^ 

But the best idea of the Semang bow can be 
formed from the description of two specimens which 
were collected in Perak by Grubauer on his recent 
expedition to the Malay Peninsula, and which were 
purchased from him by me on behalf of the Cam- 
bridge University Museum. 

The first of these two bows, the stock of which 
was made of a light-coloured but tough kind of wood, 
measured 77 in. (over-all length) by i in. (1957 mm. 
by 25 mm.) in thickness at the handle, and the 
shoulders, which took the knots at each extremity of 

^ /.A,I, vol. xxi. (1892), pp. 477, 478. Cp. UHomme^ ii, 6 1 8. 


the bow-cord, were 3 in. (76 mm.) from the tip of the 
stock at the lower end, and i^ in. (38 mm.) from the tip 
at the other. The length of the cord, which was made 
of stout twisted jungle-fibre (probably manufactured 
from the bark of the artocarpus or " t'rap " tree), was 
about 68 in. (1907 mm.) from knot to knot. 

The second bow was made of a different kind of 
wood, which was of a dark brown colour, and polished. 
Its over-all length was 71 in. (1983 mm.), and it was 
rather thicker at the handle (i^ in. = 38 mm.); the 
distance from the extreme upper tip to the shoulder 
taking the upper knot of the bow -cord was i^ in. 
(38 mm.); the corresponding measurement at the 
lower extremity being 2 in. (5 cm.), and the length of 
the cord itself, from knot to knot, 63 in. (160 cm.). 

Together with the bows just described were a 
couple of quivers containing poisoned arrows. Each 
of these quivers was made from a bamboo internode, 
the lower knot of which formed the bottom of the 
quiver, but neither had any sort of cover or lid, the 
projecting butt-ends of the arrows preventing it. 

The body of the first quiver was made from a 
particular kind of bamboo which appeared to me to 
resemble the kind called " buluh kasap." It bore no 
decoration of any description, and its diameter was 
i^ in. ('38 mm.), its length being 19^ in. (484 mm.). 
In this latter measurement, however, is not included 
a projecting spike which served as a foot when 
planted in the ground, and which, in the present case, 
measured 5 in. (126 mm.) in addition; so that its 
over-all length was 24^ in. (611 mm.). 

Its contents were a couple of arrows and one long 

hornbill feather measuring 14^ in. (344 mm.) in length. 

The length of the first arrow (over-all) was 40 in. 



(loi cm.), and its diameter two-fifths of an inch (i cm.). 
The shaft was of bamboo, and the arrow was made on 
the harpoon principle ; that is to say, its head was fitted 
into a short wooden socket-piece with a sharp upper 
end which fitted into the hollow at the lower extremity 
of the shaft or "stele," so that the head could be 
drawn out without difficulty when required. The 
head itself was of iron, and was thickly coated with a 
dark brown (almost black) incrustation of Upas poison. 
It had only a single barb, which before it was caked 
over with the crust of poison must have been about 
an inch in length, and had been fitted into the socket- 
piece by a whipping of some strong but fine jungle- 
fibre (probably the strong thread-like fibres of the 
"langkap" palm, or some allied material). The 
entire length of the head (including the socket-piece) 
was II in. (28 cm.), and the latter was nicked all 
round at the point where it joined the shaft.^ 

At the butt-end of the shaft was the rounded nock, 
about a fifth of an inch (5 mm.) deep, and just below 
this nock was the outermost of the two fastenings of 
the feathers, the precise object of which latter is not 
very clear. The feathers used are those of the horn- 
bill, and only two are used at a time. The quill 
having been split, the feather is divided, half being 
attached to one side of the shaft and half to the other, 
by means of two lashings, one close to the nock (as 
described) and the other about a quarter of the way 
down the shaft, the exact length of the feathering being 
8^ in. (204 mm.). But the extraordinary part about 
the feathering of these arrows is that the web of each 

1 For a Semang quiver, v, VII, ii. could not be ascertained in the case 

618. of these first two arrows, since the 

* The exact method by which the juncture was entirely concealed by 

head was fitted into the socket -piece the lashing. 


feather is clipped right up to the quill, so that it can 
have only the very slightest effect upon the flight of the 
arrow. Moreover, the two webs are affixed (all that 
is left of them) at a convergent angle, and the question 
which at once suggests itself, in view of this peculiar 
method of fastening them, is whether the Semang 
really understand the principle of feathering, and 
whether they do not rather employ it either as the 
mutilated survival of more intelligent methods, or 
perhaps make use of it for solely magical reasons. 
At all events, the probability that they do not 
understand the principle is borne out by the in^ 
dependent observations of Vaughan-Stevens, in con- 
tinuation of the passage quoted below ; and the 
(apparently inevitable) conclusion that in the Semang 
we have a race of archers who employ feathering, but 
do not understand its elementary principles, is a 
sufficiently remarkable fact, and one which may 
perhaps be taken as showing the extreme simplicity 
of the civilisation that we find among them. I 
should add that the only part of this arrow which is 
decorated is the part covered by the feathering, which 
has a large number of incised rings cut round it. 

The second arrow (of the first quiver) was like ta 
the first, from which it only differed slightly in 
respect of its measurements. Its shaft, for instance,. 
was 37^ in. (897 mm.), over-all length, and two- 
fifths of an inch (i cm.) in diameter. The length of the 
feathering, including the lashings, was 8^ in. (210- 
mm.), and the web was clipped off as above de- 
scribed. The iron head, which was single-barbed, like 
that of the first arrow, was, however, a trifle shorter. 

The second quiver, — which is decorated with a 
number of concentric rings and a bold geometrical 


design consisting of two rows of triangles, with con- 
verging points (called ** puchok rSbong " or the " bam- 
boo-shoot" pattern), and below this with a pattern 
consisting of a number of the concentric and conterminal 
curves, known to the Semang as the **hawk's-eye 
pattern'* ("mata lang"), — measured 24^ in. (611 
mm.) over-all, the projecting spike or foot being 8^ 
in. (204 mm.), and if in. (35 mm.) in diameter. 

There were no loose feathers inside it, but four 
arrows, whose over-all lengths were 32^ in. (814 
mm.), 34^ in. (864 mm.), 33^ in. (834 mm.), and, again, 
32^ in. respectively, with a length of feathering varying 
from 7 to 7^ in. (177 mm. to 200 mm.). In diameter 
they were a fraction less than the arrows contained in 
the first quiver, but the only important respect in which 
they differed consisted in the treatment of the head. 

Two of these arrows were of the same type 
(roughly speaking) as those in the first quiver ; ue. 
their iron points were spliced into a short wooden 
socket-piece, which latter in its turn was inserted into 
the hollow end of the bamboo shaft. Between these 
two the only noticeable difference lay in the manner 
in which the juncture had been effected between the 
wooden socket-piece and the iron point ; in the first 
case the spike of the iron point had been driven into 
the socket-piece (which latter had been bored out on 
purpose to take it), the two parts of the head being 
bound very firmly together at the point of junction with 
a lashing of split rattan coated with resin ; in the second 
case the juncture was effected by setting the spike of 
the iron arrow-head between two short prong-like 
projections (of the socket -piece), somewhat on the 
** rat's-tail" principle, and binding the two parts 
round as before. 



Both these two arrows are single-barbed, and are 
decorated, like those contained in the first quiver, 
with a number of incised rings between the two 
extremities of the feathered portion of the shaft. 

The remaining two arrows of the second quiver, 
which have not yet been described, are much more 
roughly made, and make no pretension to any skill 
of workmanship. In both of them the iron spike of 
the arrow-head is inserted into the hollow at the 
bottom of the shaft direct, and they are entirely un- 
provided with the wooden socket -piece or holder 
present in all the other specimens. Also, they are 
quite undecorated. 

I think there can be no doubt that these last two 
arrows have been hurriedly made, for use, perhaps, 
in an emergency, and that they are less typical of the 
arrows ordinarily used by the Semang than those 
which have received the greater care and finish. 

According to Vaughan - Stevens, the feathers of 
the rhinoceros bird (** tekub ") are used as a charm to 
make the arrow fatal when it is employed against the 
tiger, and only tiger-arrows are so equipped.^ 

Vaughan-Stevens further remarks that this feather- 
ing is not adopted to make " the arrow fly straight as 
in Europe,'* or at least that the Semang does not 
understand the principle involved in it. " The 
feather is stuck in the middle of the shaft, and its 
vane may point either forwards or backwards, and 
it does not matter how it happens to be fastened 
on." When Vaughan-Stevens pointed out that the 
arrow, when released (if the vane pointed forwards), 
would offer resistance to the wind and flutter sharply 
towards the left, the Semang replied that if the 

* Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 135. 


"wing" of the feather pointed backwards, it would 
be " compressed '* (?) when in actual use. Vaughan- 
Stevens further remarks, somewhat naively, that, " at 
all events, as a tiger is always attacked at a distance 
of a few yards only, an exact aim is of little con- 
sequence " ! ^ 

The feathers are of five types, which are con- 
sidered to be of varying values. In one the full 
breadth of the wing is cut down whenever it is 
required for use. The least valuable kind is only 
used if the better sorts are rare or unobtainable. In 
one sort the feather is split with a chopper (" parang "), 
an operation which requires the greatest care and 

In order to make the feathers more effective, the 
Putto is said in ancient times to have pronounced a 
charm over them, but nobody now knows this charm, 
for the Puttos are long ago dead and gone.* 

The illustrations which accompany the foregoing 
account represent the following objects : — (a) quiver as 
used by the Semang, not for hunting but on his 
travels through the jungle. It does not contain more 
than ten arrows, which are, however, of different 
sorts, two being tiger-arrows ; {b) quiver with magic 
rings ; {c) obsolete tiger-arrow, headed with bamboo ; 
{d) and {e) other types of arrows.* 

The decorated bamboo quiver, which holds only 
three or four arrows, terminates in a point which 
enables it to be planted in the ground, and is either 
simply carried in the hand, or passed through the 
back of the wearer's belt.^ 

1 Vaughan-Stevens, ilL 135. 
2846 Ibid. 


Preparation of the Poison. 

Perak Semang. — The methods employed in pre- 
paring the arrow-poison of the Perak Semang are 
identical with those used for the manufacture of poison 
for their blowpipe-darts. 

De Morgan states that a coating of poison is 
applied directly to the arrow-head, which is dried over 
the fire like the wooden spatula, when it is covered 
with the dart-poison. A considerable number of 
coatings (of poison) are applied, so that the arrow- 
head gets thickly encrusted with it.^ 

The same writer's account of the effects of the 
poison, which of course vary considerably with its 
strength and that of the victim, has already been 
given, and so need not here be repeated.^ - 

The ordinary range at which the Semang bow is 
used is from 30 to 40 paces (23 m. to 30 m.) — no 
greater than that of the blowpipe. The actual 
distance, however, to which the arrows will carry is 
something much greater ; De Morgan, in fact, places 
it at about 150 metres.* 

This same authority states, and here he is in 
complete accordance with what I have heard from 
the Negritos myself, that these arrows are employed 
by the Semang for attacking all kinds of animals, not 
only monkeys and birds, but big and dangerous game 
such as the elephant, rhinoceros, and the tiger. And 
although Vaughan - Stevens alleges that they are 
employed for tigers only, the statement of De Morgan 
is undoubtedly, I think, the right one.* 

Patau! Semang. — Of the bow used by the Eastern 

' De Morgan, vii. 417. ^ De Morgan, vil 415. 

« Supra,*^ 267. * Ibid. 


Semang, or Pangan, we know little more than what 
is contained in the account given by De la Croix. 
The Semang of Patani employ instead of the blow- 
pipe an immense bow of about 6 to 7 ft. (1.8 m. to 
2.1 m.) in length, which is made either of bamboo or 
of iron wood, the bow-string being a cord of twisted 
rattan.* The arrow, which is 0.70 m. in length, is 
made of bamboo, and carries at the butt-end a couple 
of feathers, clipped and fitted to it longitudinally, and 
at the point an iron blade sharpened and furnished 
either with one or with two barbs.^ 

These arrows, like the darts of the blowpipe, are 
always poisoned with " Ipoh.** ' 

The Blowpipe and Darts. 

Kedah Semang. — In addition to their national 
V weapon, the bow, the Negritos also very frequently 
make use of the bamboo blowpipe, which they have 
undoubtedly borrowed from some of their wild neigh- 
bours, either Sakai or Jakun. 

The blowpipe has received but little elaboration 
among the Semang. It consists of a long and delicate 
inner tube (which is the actual blowpipe), protected 
by an outer tube or casing, which serves the double 
purpose of preserving the fragile inner tube from 
damage and of keeping it from warping as the sap 
dries out of it.* 

1 De M. (iii. 42) declares, and I 
agree with him, that bamboo is not 
used for bows. It is too weak. If the 
illustration given by De la Croix on p. 
341 of the article here quoted be com- 
pared with those of Negrito bows in 
Man's Andamanese {VloXe VI. pp. 174, 

Andaman Negritos (which difiers widely 
from that used by the natives of Great 
Andaman) ; and that even the arrows 
(though the similarity is less marked 
than in the case of the bow) never- 
theless show a general resemblance. 
* De la Croix, p. 331. • Ibid, 

1 7 5)> it will be seen that this Semang ♦ Cp. De Morgan, vii. 415, and 

bow is exactly similarto that of the Little Begbie, pp. 5, 6. 

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The inner pipe or blow-tube naturally requires to 
be absolutely free from any roughness or inequality, 
such as might in the least interfere with the propulsion 
of the dart. Hence it is manufactured when possible 
from a single internode of a particular species of 
bamboo, whose stem combines the two essentials of 
great length of internode with an extremely small 
diameter.^ This plant, however, is very rare, and 
has only been recorded hitherto from one or two 
mountains in the Peninsula {e.g. G. Inas and others), 
and bamboos whose intemodes are of sufficient length 
to form a single jointless tube are rarer still ; ^ though 
even these are occasionally met with. 

Most usually, therefore, the inner tube is composed ^ 
of two internodes. The node or joint is excised, and 
the two extremities brought carefully together and 
clamped by means of a closely-fitting sheath (usually 
of palm- wood), which is slipped over the two abutting 
ends on what may perhaps be called a sort of fish- 
plate system. 

Up to this point the method of manufacturing the 
Semang blowpipe does not differ in any essential from 
that employed by the Sakai. The Semang, however, 
apparently finds it tpo much trouble to poke out the 
central node of the blowpipe case, and to polish it 
within (Sakai fashion) by drawing through it the 
prickly whip-ends of the rattan. Hence he simply 
cuts the outer tube through at the central knot, and 
having excised the latter, slips the two portions 
of the now bisected casing over the inner tube, and 
unites them by a mere splice of the roughest 
description. Again, he seldom takes any great 

^ Bambusa Wrayi or Umginodis, are also made by the Senoi and Tembeh 

^ Cp. Hale, p. 288: sudi weapons (see Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 112). 



trouble in decorating or giving a " finish " to the 
completed weapon. 

Perak Semang. — Another peculiarity about the 
Negrito blowpipe is that its mouthpiece is frequently 
made of gutta-percha or resin.^ 

One of the blowpipes that was brought back by 
Grubauer from the same district possessed a jointless 
inner tube of Bambusa Wrayi, and measured 85^ in. 
(217 cm.), over-all length.^ It had a round wooden 
mouthpiece of the type found among the Semang in 
the northern frontier of Perak and in Kedah. This 
specimen is now in the Cambridge Ethnographical 
Museum, together with another blowpipe, collected at 
the same place and time, the peculiarity of which is 
that its mouthpiece is made of a solid lump of resin, 
apparently as a substitute for gutta-percha, which is 
more frequently used for the mouthpiece by Semang 

The over-all length of this latter specimen is 80^ 
in. (204 cm.). It has a spliced inner tube, joined in the 
usual way, and it also has what one hardly expects to 
find in a Semang blowpipe, viz. the short cylindrical 
bamboo block inside the muzzle-end, which is so 
commonly used by Sakai tribes, though its exact 
raison cCHre is not very clear. 

Pangran or East Semangr* — Among the Eastern 
Semang (Pangan) the shaft of the blowpipe-dart is 
generally of rougher workmanship than it is among 
the Sakai. The former manufacture it from the leaf- 
stalk of the ** bgrtam " palm {Eugeissona tristis), the 
shaft being simply pared down with a knife until it 
reaches the dimensions of a rather thick knitting- 
needle or **crow quill," when it is generally polished with 

> De Morgan, vii. 416 ; VH, ii. 613, 614, ^ See p. 255, if. 4, supra. 

Semang Blowpipe Apparatus. 

De Morgan. 

1,2. Negrito blowpipes. 3. Dart. 4, Poison-spatula. 5. Section of mouih-crid 
of a blowpipe, showing dart in position in centre of inner tube, with wad (A') behind 
the butt-end (-V) of the dart, /*, A*, 5', being the arrangement for splicing the 
inner tul>e, and L, L\ that for joining when necessary the mouthpicce-cnd on to the 
outer tube (6, 7). 8. Semang dart-quiver. 

Vol. /. /. 282. 


" tiger's-tongue" leaves ('*m€mplas rimau"), lightly 
touched with resin, and fitted into a small cone-shaped / 
butt-end. It is then sharpened to a fine point, and 
has a slight incision or nick cut all round the shaft at 
the commencement of the point. This nick enables 
the point (whenever the shaft collides with anything) 
to break off short, and thus, bee-like, the dart leaves its 
sting in the wound when the quarry tries to escape 
through the jungle. It is not, perhaps, going too 
far to describe the dart as a sort of human bee-sting, 
and it is not impossible that this feature of the wild 
man's armoury may have been copied from nature. It 
is of course only the point, below the nick, that is 
coated with poison. 

The point itself is as long and fine as a needle, 
but is nevertheless as a rule wonderfully strong, 
though this strength naturally depends upon the 
qualities of the stem from which it is made. The 
conical butt, which steadies the dart in its flight and 
assists its momentum, is fitted on to the thicker end 
of the dart-shaft, and is made of a species of rattan 
(" rotan 'lang **), which is pared down with a knife just 
sufficiently to allow it to pass with freedom through 
the tube. 

As regards the length of the darts, a Semang 
named Chintok told me that the Pangan of Ligeh 
make use of the foot (from heel to toe) as the re- 
cognised standard of length for a blowpipe-dart, but 
that longer darts carried both further and truer than 
the shorter ones. Another standard which was said 
to be in use was the bone of the forearm measured 
from the elbow to the little finger-joint. 

The quiver in which the Semang kept their 
new-made darts was of the simplest possible type. 


consisting of nothing but an intemode ("joint") of 
bamboo, which was, however, often highly ornamented 
exteriorly,^ but was nevertheless entirely devoid of the 
elaborate fittings which are to be found in the quivers 
used by the Sakai. 

Preparation of the Poison. 

Kedah Semangr. — The following is a detailed 
account of the method employed by the Semang for 
tapping the Upas tree. During my stay at Siong 
(in the interior of Kedah), a Semang named Padang 
went out one morning to collect Upas poison for his 
darts, and I was allowed to accompany him. He took 
with him a poison receptacle made out of a bamboo 
intemode (it was about one foot long, and just big 
enough in diameter to admit a man's thumb), a jungle- 
knife or chopper (" golok "), and a small lump of wax 
obtained from the comb of a small wild bee.* A 
few yards away from the hut, in heavy jungle, he 
stopped in front of a fine tree from 40 to 60 ft. (12 m. 
to 18 m.) high, and with smooth bark not unlike an 
English beech. This was a specimen of the Upas 
tree. Picking a leaflet of the low-growing " bSrtam " 
palm,* he cut off a part of it, taking a strip of leaf 
about 9 inches long. This strip he affixed by means 
of the wax to the stem of the tree. He then vigorously 
slashed the bark of the tree with the chopper, 
cutting a succession of lai^e V-shaped marks, one 
above the other, in the bark. This process, he de- 
clared, was dangerous, from the liability of the sap to 
spurt into and blind the operator's eyes. The poison, 
however, is a blood poison, and there does not appear 

1 Cp. LH, ii. 617 (illustration). » Mai. '*kelulut." 

3 Eugeissona tristis^ Griff. {PcUma), 


to be any real danger, as even the practice of cutting 
out the flesh surrounding the wound, before eating 
an animal which has been killed with a blowpipe- 
dart, does not appear to be practised universally,^ and 
there is probably no great harm in the poison unless 
(as stated) when it gets into the blood.* 

To return to the subject, another Semang (named 
Chintok) showed me how to apply the poison to the 
darts. This process was usually performed over one of 
the numerous hearth-fires within the palm-leaf shelter, 
but on the present occasion it was performed outside. 
Chintok took the bamboo containing the poison, and 
borrowing a fire-log from his own hearth, settled down 
quietly to the work. Having first poured the poison 
into the bamboo tray (formed from a diagonal section 
of a big stem of bamboo), he next took up a little of 
the liquid in a primitive kind of bamboo ladle, and 
pouring it out upon a broad wooden spatula, com- 
menced to toast the latter at the fire, working up 
the poison with a small bamboo spatula. When first 
deposited on the spatula, the poison was very fairly 
liquid, and of a light brown, liver, or coffee colour, but 
Chintok continued to heat it until it became of a 
very rich, dark ''Vandyke" brown, little (if at all) 
lighter than the dried poison which is still to be seen 
on the darts. As soon as it had sufficiently thickened 
and browned, Chintok rolled the tip of each of the 

1 For an exception see Borie (tr. sap, and for experiment have lain along 

Bonrien), p. 78 (of the Mantra). the trunk, sleeping there for a whole 

* The wild tribes certainly appear, or night, without its having the slightest 

pretend to be, very much afraid of the effect on me. I have held my head 

tree, but on this point Vaughan-Stevens close over the boiling sap and breathed 

says : " I have myself felled four, have the strongly • smelling steam for an 

spent three to four hours sitting on the hour together without getting even a 

trunk, and waited till the sap flowed headache, and I never felt a burning if 

oat of the cut rings, have had my I put the juice on my skin or any Irri- 

hands and arms quite sticky with the tation in the eyes" (V.-St. iL 112}. 


darts in turn in it until they acquired a thick, coagu- 
lated clot about the point, which extended as high 
as the nick already referred to. The darts, thus 
poisoned, were dried in the sun, being made to lean 
against a stick or log, with the points directed upwards. 

It was alleged by the Semang that the ^'blackening" 
of the dart would render it less visible when in use, 
but even if the assertion were true, it seems hardly 
necessary. Yet some of the Semang maintained that 
the dart-point (when coated with the poison) is regu- 
larly " blackened " by being smoked either over a fire 
or in torch-smoke. Possibly, however, the reason of 
the popularity of the black tint may be merely that it 
shows that the dart has been well dried. 

The poison used is of several strengths, which 
vary according to the kind of quarry which it is de- 
signed to kill. Chintok informed me that when it was 
used in its full strength a thin line was burnt across 
the butt-end thus, © ; but that when the poison used 
is of inferior strength (as it would be if designed for 
small game or birds), no mark was made on it. 

None of the Kedah Semang were in the habit of 
mixing anything with the Upas poison. This, how- 
ever, was due (they said) to the fact that they used 
poison derived direct from the Upas tree {Antiaris), 
which can be utilised without any further admixture, 
whereas other Semang tribes, e.g. those north of the 
Plus, employed the Upas creeper (**ipoh akar," or 
**ipoh gunong"), which has been identified with 
Strychnos tieute {BL Loganiacea)} 

The cuticle or bark of this latter plant is (by the 
Semang north of the Plus) shredded and boiled till it 

» Sec Ridley's Plant-List, s,v. «*Ipoh." Cp. also J. A. G. CampbeU, 
p. 241. 


becomes sufficiently thickened for use, but they believe 
the fumes of the boiling liquor to be so poisonous that 
they sit yards away from the pot during the operation.* 

According to Vaughan- Stevens, the Ipoh by 
Itself does not kill in twenty-five cases out of thirty, 
and, in the other five, does so only through the pier- 
cing of an artery or other vital part. This statement, 
however, must be received with caution, as the poison 
is not required to kill, but merely to bring down the 
quarry, which is usually followed up and despatched 
by hand,* the strength of the poison used naturally 
varying greatly according to the resisting power of 
the object struck. If the quarry, e.g. a small bird, were 
allowed to fall dead in thick jungle, it would certainly 
be hard to retrieve, whereas when it is wounded and 
trying to escape through the jungle, it can be tracked 
more easily (from a native point of view) by the rustling 
it makes. Moreover, the aborigines naturally husband 
their scanty stock of poison as far as possible, and 
seldom if ever waste their ammunition.* 

The question of antidotes has been much debated, 
but the only one that the Semang of Kedah could 
si^gest was the eating of earth mixed with "asam 

* For a similar instance of the based not on the Ipoh creeper (5'/ry^^«^^) 
use of the tree-Ipoh poison alone, see but on the tree Ipoh ; and as no men- 
Hale, p. 289. See also De Morgan tion is made of Strychnos ("Blay") 
(Z'JET. ii. 620), who is perfectly clear on being added to it, and Vaughan- 
the point, and bears out what I my- Stevens himself adds that even for large 
self independently observed. De birds the •* Ipoh " itself was sufficient, 
Moigan remarks that ** if they require the conclusion is obvious. Moreover, 
a less - powerful poison, they employ on p. 107 he distinctly implies that in 
the sap of the Ipoh trUy with the some cases only AnHaris poison is em- 
addition of the sap of certain small ployed. 

roots (*tubercules'), or even the sap ' Cp. Z. /. E, xxvi. 169, where 

of the Ipoh by itself." monkeys wounded by one of these darts 

But the most conclusive evidence on are described as being despatched by 

thb point is that of Vaughan-Stevens the chopper (*• parang"), 

himself, according to whose account the ' Cp. VH. ii. 617, where we are told 

poison of the Benua-Jakun tribes is they never shoot at a moving object. 


klubi " (an acid jungle fruit), but this does not seem to 
agree with the Sakai and Jakun prejudice, which is 
directed against the eating of acid fruit with the flesh 
of animals killed by the dart. On the other hand, the 
eating of the earth would no doubt in itself be good. 

Perak Semangr* — De la Croix quotes^ from Sir 
Hugh Low's journal the results of some experiments 
with Ipoh poison which Sir H. Low had carried out. 
He quotes, inter alia, Sir Hugh Low's remark to the 
effect that the Semang informed him that in preparing 
their poison they mixed the sap of the tree- Ipoh with 
that of a particular kind of climbing plant, and that 
they then dried it immediately on a spatula over the 
fire, no further preparation being required.* 

Sir Hugh Low is further quoted as writing that 
on a particular day one Lela Perkasa had just brought 
him some fresh sap from an Ipoh tree growing near- 
by, the trunk of which had been cut down, and that 
in view of previous experiences, he (Sir H. Low) had 
the poison prepared in his own presence.* 

The man began by making a small wooden spatula, 
on which he spread successive layers of the poison. 
This he dried gradually over a slow fire, or rather over 
hot embers, the substance immediately turning a nut- 
brown colour. He assured Sir Hugh that the poison 
was thus carried on the spatula, and that when it vras 
required for use it was only necessary to moisten the 
point of the arrow and rub it over the poison.* 

The tree which furnished the sap had been cut 
down, but young branches had sprouted since, and those 
that he brought in proved that it was essentially the 
same as an artocarpus, from which Sir H. had obtained 

* Sir H. Low, quoted by De la Croix, p. 331. 
'** Ibid, Cp. VHommt^ ii. 620-622. 


some poison some time back on the banks of the 

After describing further experiments with the 
poison, Sir H. Low remarks that Lela Perkasa had 
assured him that the sap of the Ipoh creeper, when 
not quite fresh (as in the previous day's experiments), 
could not produce so rapid an effect as that which had 
been prepared the same morning.^ 

Lela Perkasa further stated that the sap of the 
Ipoh' was absolutely innocuous until it had been 
heated as above described. When a stronger poison 
is required, the sap of the Ipoh is mixed with sap 
obtained from the roots of a plant called ** l6kir " 
("lekyer" — a common AmorphophaUus). A tenth 
part of this latter added to the mixture will make the 
poison strong enough to kill a rhinoceros or a tiger ; 
if it merely touches the skin it will raise a blister, and 
hence they are afraid to keep it ready-made for fear of 
accidents. There is another plant called **gadong," 
which is described as a species of wild yam, and 
whose sap increases the activity of the poisonous 
principle of Ipoh ; yet Lela Perkasa declared that 
none of these saps is poisonous in the state in which 
it is gathered from the tree, but requires admixture 
and heating over a slow fire. This operation, he 
said, should only be performed in the jungle, and in 
the presence of not more than two persons.* 

The " l€kir " has a stem about 9 feet high. The 
leaves, which branch into three separate parts, are 
from 4-5 feet long. The stem of the biggest, though 
not yet quite full grown, was 4 inches (" pouces ") in 

^ Sir H. Low, quoted by De la meant For Vaughan-Stevens' experi- 
^^«» P" 331- * -^^« ments with the sap, see p. 287, n. i. 

5 Probably the Ipoh tne is here * Sir H. Low, loc, cit, p. 333. 



diameter, and was variously coloured with shades of 
brown, green, and grey. The blossom is white, and 
only appears when the leaf and stem are already dead. 
At the moment of expansion it emits an intolerable 
odour, resembling that of putrefying matter. The 
lower part of the blossom continues to shoot up as 
the ends ripen. Sir Hugh had seen it reach a height 
of 4 feet and with pericarps (J) more than a foot 
long. He had also had brought him a specimen of 
*'gadong," which was a thorny creeper with trefoil 
leaves, growing out of a bunch of slightly flattened 

Yet another excellent account of the methods of 
poisoning the dart-points, as practised by the Perak 
Semang, is that given by Mr. Wray, who states that 
he once visited Ulu Selama, where some of the 
Semang lived, and was taken by them to a place 
called Kuala Jah, at about five hundred feet of 
elevation, where he was shown, growing in the virgin 
forest, within a hundred yards of one another, two 
large Ipoh trees. The larger was about five feet in 
diameter at a height of five feet from the ground, and 
had a trunk full a hundred feet in height at the first 
branch. It had been tapped many times, the bark 
being deeply scored up to a height of twenty-five feet 
from the ground ; the smaller tree was also scored all 
over. The bark externally was white, and internally 
orange-brown, and was very thick and fibrous. On 
fresh scores being cut into the bark, the dirty whity- 
brown sap ran very sparingly out, and was conducted 
down palm leaves, stuck on to the trunk of the tree 
with clay, into bamboos. The scores weie cut slanting 
alternately right and left, like what is known as 

1 Sir H. Low, quoted by De la Croix, p. 333. 


herring-bone stitching, with the lower ends of the 
scores pointing inwards. At the bottom of each 
series of scores was put a leaf, fastened to the bark 
with clay, to lead the sap which trickled down into 
a bamboo. Only about three ounces of sap was got 
the first day ; but two days afterwards, by erecting a 
scaffolding around the tree and extending the scores 
up the trunk, about one pint was obtained. Three 
ounces of sap, the Semang declared, was enough to 
poison a hundred blowpipe-darts.^ 

The sap having been collected from the trees, a 
spatula-shaped piece of wood was taken and heated 
over a clear wood fire, and a small quantity of the sap 
poured on to it and spread out with another but 
smaller wooden spatula, and held over the fire till 
nearly dry, and the process repeated till all the sap 
was evaporated. There remained on the spatula a 
dark brown gummy substance, on which the points of 
the darts were rubbed three times, being dried over 
the fire between each application of the poison. This 
simple process completed the preparation of the 
poison, with the exception of the other things that 
are sometimes mixed with the Ipoh. 

The sap, which proved to be bitter and biting in 
taste, and decidedly acid to test-paper, on exposure to 
the air quickly darkened to a brown colour, and 
yielded, when dried on a water-bath, twenty-nine per 
cent of solid Ipoh. This substance, if put thinly on a 
slip of glass and examined by a microscope, is seen to 
contain numerous crystals ^*of antiarin. 

In the course of the same account Mr. Wray 
further observes that what Griffith says about the 
poisonous properties of the Ipoh being derived from 

> L. Wray in/. A, /. vol. xxi. (1892), pp. 476, 477. 


admixture of arsenic was information probably derived 
from the Malays, for the aborigines are quite ignorant 
of that poison ; and, as Professor Ringer pointed out, 
the action of arsenic is very different from that of 
Ipoh, besides which animals killed with arsenic would 
be quite unfit for food.^ 

Mr. Wray here observes that it is the aborigines 
alone who use poisoned weapons in the Peninsula. 
The Malays put arsenic on their krises and spears, 
but it is employed solely with the view of bringing 
out the damascening of the blades, and not as a 

Mr. Wray once had the opportunity of noticing 
the effects of Ipoh poison on a human being. It 
occurred while he was descending a river in Upper 
Perak in 1889, and he made at the time a note to the 
effect that, while unloading and carrying the baggage 
over the rocks, a poisoned blowpipe-dart fell out of a 
quiver and stuck into the upper part of one of the 
men's feet. It was at once pulled out, and a Semang 
squeezed the wound to get as much blood as possible, 
then tied a tight ligature round the leg and put lime- 
juice on to the wound. The man complained of 
great pain in the foot, of cramp in the stomach, and 
vomited, but these symptoms soon passed off. The 
point only went into the foot about one-third of an 
inch, and the dart was instantly pulled out. The 
Semang said that had it gone deep into a fleshy part 
of the body it would have caused death.* 

As stated above, the Semang sometimes mix 
other poisons with the Ipoh. The plants from which 
these are derived are known to the Malays as " l6kir " 
and " gadong." In both cases it is the expressed juice 

» L. Wray in/. A, I. vol. xxi. (1892), p. 477. 2 /j. s yj. 


of the tubers that is employed. The "Ifikir" is an Aroid 
belonging to the genus Amorphophallns, and the 
** gadong " is a thorny climbing yam belonging to the 
order Dioscoreacece. Botanical specimens of both 
these plants had been sent to the Calcutta Botanical 
Gardens, but identifications had not (when writing) 
been received. It was probable that the specimens of 
" 16kir " had been transmitted to Kew by Dr. King, in 
which case they would be found numbered 3327.^ 

The tubers are rasped up fine with a knife, and 
the soft mass put into a piece of cloth, which is then 
forcibly pulled through two pieces of stick tied firmly 
together a short distance apart, so that the juice, 
which is very acrid, is expressed without coming in 
contact with the hands. The juice of the " Ifikir " and 
" gadong " tubers so obtained is mixed with the Ipoh 
sap, and the mixture dried on a wooden spatula over a 
fire, and the darts poisoned in the way that has already 
been described.* 

The tubers of both these plants, which contain 
starch in large quantities, are cut up into thin slices 
and suspended in a basket in running water and 
allowed to steep until the poison contained in them 
has been dissolved out. They are then cooked and 
eaten by the aborigines, and also occasionally by the 

The acrid juices of these plants are said not to be 
fatal by themselves, and the part they play when 
mixed with the arrow-poison is to cause local irritation, 
which hinders wounded animals from escaping before 
the antiarin has time to act ; but all the Semang and 
Sakai encountered declared that the pure Ipoh was 
more deadly than the mixture.* 

^^^L. Wiay in/. A, /. vol. xxi. (1892), pp. 478, 479. ^^^ lb. 


The juice of the tubers of the "gadong" is decidedly 
acid when fresh. It smells somewhat like raw 
potatoes, and is bitter and astringent, producing a 
stinging sensation on the tongue, and a very un- 
pleasant dry feeling in the mouth, which persists for 
a considerable time. The acidulated juice yields a 
yellowish-brown precipitate to a solution of iodine in 
iodide of potassium. The precipitate redissolved in 
sulphurous acid and evaporated yields long, branching, 
needle-like crystals. The juice mixed with spirits, 
filtered and evaporated to dryness and redissolved in 
dilute sulphuric acid, filtered and evaporated again, 
also yields long branching crystals, which have an 
astringent taste like the juice, and are possibly the 
poisonous principle.^ 

The freshly expressed juice of the " ISkir " tubers is 
faintly acid to test-paper. It smells somewhat like 
beetroot, and is acrid and causes irritation when 
applied to the skin. It appears not to contain alkaloid, 
as it affords no precipitate when a solution of iodine 
in iodide of potassium is added to the filtered and 
acidulated juice, nor when the juice is just rendered 
alkaline by potash. When distilled, the distillate 
smells like the juice, and is slightly opalescent, but it 
does not cause irritation when applied to the skin, or 
even to a wound. It tastes the same as it smells, and 
does not injuriously affect the tongue.^ 


The only antidote for Ipoh poison (said Lela Per- 
kasa) was to eat earth. Any sort of earth will do, and 
the patient, however ill, will always end by getting 

* L. Wray in/. A. L vol. xxi. (1892), p. 479. * lb, pp. 479, 480. 


better. He learned of this antidote by seeing a crow 
that he had wounded fly down to the ground, swallow 
some earth, and resume its flight.^ 

Pangan or E. Semang. — The following is a summary 
of Vaughan-Stevens' description of the preparation of 
Ipoh poison by the Pangan. The sap of the tree 
(obtained by shaving the stem and bruising it with 
the back of a *' parang ") is poured into a vessel made of 
twisted palm-leaf It is stirred till it turns bright 
yellow, when it is poured into a pot for boiling. The 
bark of "perghoo," "choichoi," "kree," "lendow," 
and " garsung " is put into a bamboo with the leaves 
of " rumpi " (stc, ? " rami ") and " jelatang " * ; water is 
added, and the mixture heated for about ten minutes. 
The liquor is then added to the pot, the lees of wet 
bark being wrapped in a leaf and wrung out to extract 
the remainder of the liquid. Meanwhile the bark of 
" Blay kechil," " Blay besar," *' Blay hitam," and " Bhoi" 
is similarly boiled and added to the liquor. The tubers 
of *'gadong" and **k5payang" fruits are cut up small and 
boiled for four hours, when they too are added to the 
mixture. The fruit of " s'lowung" and ** chow '* and the 
roots of " bal/* ** sedudo*," and ** begung " are boiled in 
yet another bamboo and put into the pot with the rest. 
The sap of two rattans (Riong and Butong) follows, 
and the heads of centipedes and snakes and scorpions' 
tails are smoked between two knife-blades and added 
also. Fresh RSngut (" ringhut ") fruits may now be 
added if procurable, and the pot containing the mixture 
is boiled till its contents are reduced by one-half.^ 

The contents are then poured through a palm-leaf 
funnel into a clean bamboo, the pot washed, the 

1 Sir H. Low, quoted by De la The account is probably (as usual with 
Croix, p. 333. * V.-St «« jdatung." V.-St.) eclectic. For identifications, 
' VaughiA • Stefens, iL m segg, v. App. 


*' filtered " liquor poured back and the Ipoh (Upas) sap 
added, the pot being then boiled till the mixture 
becomes a golden-yellow syrup. When sufficiently 
thickened it is poured off into bamboo tubes, and is 
ready for use. Its preparation takes about 2 J hours.^ 

II. — Sakai. 
Stone Implements. 

Perak Sakai. — The remarks already made with 
regard to the use of stone implements by the Semang 
apply with no less force to the Sakai tribes, none of 
which, any more than the Semang, has ever yet 
reached a stage of civilisation at which such implements 
might have been produced, though they may never- 
theless have quite well been in the habit of using 
chips and flakes of stone to do their cutting. 

On the other hand, they are, like the Semang, 
undoubtedly acquainted with the use of cutting and 
boring instruments made of bamboo or bone, and like 
them too they now obtain their axes and spear-heads 
and choppers from the neighbouring Malays. 

The Spear. 
Perak SakaL — Of the Sakai of Perak Hale * says, in 
fact, that they purchase spears and other implements 
from the Malays, but that though he also saw spears 
which they made for themselves, and which were fur- 
nished with fire-hardened bamboo blades, the Sakai 
told him the latter were only used for setting in spring- 
traps. This statement on the part of the Sakai was 
doubtless true as far as the specimens that Mr. Hale 
saw were concerned, but in those parts of the country 

1 Vaugban-SteTens, ii. iii segq. ' Hale, p. 28S. 

Sakai of South Pekak, with Blowpu'Es. 

r<?A /. /. 296 


Sakai Quivkrs. 

1. Sakai dart-quiver (S. Kiiitn, Perak). 

2. Sakai dart-quiver (S. Bernam) : section showing darts (A) carrietl in 
small bamboo tul>cs or reeds {A)', also the node {D) forming the bottom of 
the (bamboo) quiver ; a rattan ring (O for holding back the wadding ; and 
the recess {K) in which the wadding is carried. -De Morgan in L'H. asih 
October 1885, p. 616. 

yoi. I. /. 297, 


where iron blades are scarce, spear- blades made of 
bamboo with palm-wood shafts are nevertheless em- 
ployed as the most natural and usual substitute.^ 

The Bow. 

Perak Sakai. — There are only two cases known to 
me in which the use of the bow has been attributed to 
the Sakai. 

According to De la Croix, tlie Sakai of Kenering 
possessed a bow ' which was similar to that used by 
the Semang of Patani ; and a similar statement was 
made by Miklucho-Maclay, who was, however, quite 
rightly corrected by Pleyte. In both cases, however, 
there can be no doubt that the error arose entirely 
from applying the name " Sakai " to Negritos, and 
that these so-called Kenering Sakai of De la Croix, 
no less than Miklucho-Maclay's Sakai, were in reality 
of Semang (or, at least, Semang-Sakai) origin.* 

The Blowpipe. 

Perak Sakai. — The Sakai blowpipe has the same 
arrangement of an outer and an inner tube, and is con- 
structed of the same material as that of the Semang. 
The inner tube is closely fitted into the outer tube or 
casing, which (unlike the casing of the Semang weapon) 
is made in one piece, the central node (should a 
jointless tube be unobtainable) being knocked out 
with a wooden spike, and the jagged edges rasped 
away by means of the prickly '* leaf-whips " of a kind 
of rattan, and finally polished so as to allow the 
inner tube or blowpipe to be fitted into it without 

» De Moigtn, vil 417; viii. 225, 3Xhc"HmKreans"(i.<r. "Karens"), 

and elsewhere. whose '* long bows and arrows " are 

* De la Croix, p. 331 5 qj. V Homme y referred toiny, /. A. (voL iv. pp. 429, 

iii. 42. 430), must certainly have been so too. 


injury. This doubling of the tube, as has been said, 
is intended to keep it straight and to prevent warping, 
and generally to protect the blowpipe, which would 
be otherwise too frail to sustain its own weight.^ 

The Sakai blowpipe is, as a rule, far more highly 
decorated (with incised rectilinear designs) than that 
of the Semang, and has a wooden mouthpiece which, 
for shooting purposes, is either placed between the lips 
and the teeth or taken directly into the mouth itself,* 

The darts, which are not of bamboo but of the 
hard leaf- rib of the '*b6rtam," are of the usual "knit- 
ting-needle " type, and have butt-ends not of rattan 
but of *' bSrtam " wood, but are more delicately finished 
and symmetrical than those of the Semang, which in 
comparison are very roughly made. They are from 
8-1 1 in. (20 cm. to 28 cm.) long. The usual wad of 
flocculent palm-down is inserted in the tube behind 
them to prevent windage.' 

This down is obtained from the cuticle of a tree, 
fined down with a knife, sun-dried, and rolled in the 
hand in order to eliminate the harder tissues.* 

The quivers of the Sakai are much more elaborate 
than those of the Semang. They are made from a 
bamboo (internode), which is highly decorated, and 
which contains small bamboo tubes or reeds in which 
the darts are kept; they further contain all the re- 
quisites for making new darts and for poisoning them.* 

1 For descriptions and illustrations, ^ De Moigan, VII, ii. 6i6, and 
see De Morgan, vii. 416 ; Vffomme^ vil L c. Hale (p. 289) adds, «*At 
ii. 614 ; and HaJe (who gives measure- the bottom of the quiver a supply of 
ments), pp. 288, 289 ; cp. also/. /. A. bees- wax is always kept, with which to 
vol. iv. pp. 429, 430, where, however, polish the quiver as well as the blow- 
bamboo (1) darts are spoken of. P'P^ exteriorly ; this polishing, com- 
" De M. and Hale, ioc, cit, bined with the ikct that they are always 
* De M. ^. cit. Hale (p. 289) suspended over the fire, where the 
sa3rs it is composed of the natural fluff smoke can get at them, helps to give 
or down obtained from the leaf-bases them the rich red colour that the 
of certain rattans (Calami), Sakai admire." 

Sakai of Scjuth Perak, cakrvinc; Bi.owpipk. 

yoi. I. /. 298. 



J'iff. I. /h i99. 


A ring of woven cane (encircling the quiver) affords 
the means of attaching the quiver to the waist-cord, a 
similar ring being used for fastening the hinge of the 
lid, which latter is of basket-work,^ and is fitted interiorly 
with a ring of bent cane for holding the wadding, and 
preventing it from falling out when the lid is opened.^ 

The girdle is made from the cuticle of the Arto- 
carpus finely plaited, and is fastened about the waist 
with a buckle made of bone.* 

The range of a blowpipe-dart is about 80 metres, 
according to the strength of the operator. But the 
usual range actually employed is never more than 
30 to 35 paces (23 m. to 27 m.). At this distance, 
however, they are marvellously clever, and a Sakai 
has been seen to hit with his first shot a dollar deposited 
on the trunk of a fallen tree at about 30 paces (23 m.) 

M. Brau de Saint-Pol Lias declared ^ that he had 
seen a blowpipe which was rifled, but he gives no 
details, and until some confirmation comes to hand, 
his statement, which is entirely unsupported, cannot 
be received with too much caution. 

When the Sakai require a very powerful poison 
they mix together in a bamboo tube the sap of a tree 
called Ipoh and the sap of a small root. They then 
gently dry the mixture over a slow fire, adding 
moisture from time to time in order to dry it afresh. 

1 Or of wood hollowed out by fire * De M. VH, ii. 617. Cp. Hale, 

and knife, that of the Kenaboi being p. 289. The blowpipe is a very deadly 

of basket-work. — V.-St. ii. 120, 121. weapon for any animal up to the size of 

^ De M. /^r. dj^. ; UHamme^ ii 620. a siamang, and up to a distance of 60 

' Cp. Hale, p. 289, where we are yards (55 m.), whereas at 50 yards (45 

told that the quiver is "supported m.) distance **a Sakai, clever in the 

iDond the waist by a cord of native use of it, will put five darts out of six 

manufacture, and listened with a buckle into a common playing card.'* Cp. 

made from the bone of a monkey, the De la Croix, p. 334. 

upper mandible of a hombill,*' etc. ^ Lias, pp. 258, 259 ; cp. p. 256, ante. 


The boiling is completed in four processes ; and just 
before the last boiling a little poison obtained from 
the poison glands of snakes, scorpions, and centipedes 
is added. A little of the poison is then applied to a 
small spatula, which is dried slowly over a smoulder- 
ing fire ; a fresh layer is then applied and the spatula 
moved slowly to and fro over the fire. The poison thus 
prepared is dark brown, and is very soluble in water. 
If a less powerful poison is required, the sap of the 
Ipoh and the root is alone employed, or else the Ipoh 
by itself; in either case the methods of preparation 
are identical. The poison is now ready for immediate 
use, the point of the dart being slightly wetted and 
rubbed upon the small spatula which is covered with 
the poison.* 

To complete his inquiry into the sources of the 
arrow-poisons of the aborigines, Mr. Wray visited the 
district of Batang Padang, to ascertain how the Sakai 
prepared their poison. As previously mentioned, they 
only used it on their blowpipe - darts, as bows and 
arrows are not employed by them.^ 

Mr. Wray visited two Ipoh trees, both of which 
were deeply scored like those in Selama. The scoring 
of the bark was not, however, so r^ular as with the 
Semang, and no sign of the herring-bone method was 
to be seen. The usual plan was to cut detached 
V-shaped incisions, and the method of collecting the 
sap differed also from that already described.' 

Several pieces of bamboo were taken, and to each 
was fixed a piece of wood, which was ingeniously cut, 

> De M. /. c, Cp. Hale, 289. The for use, it is put on a spatula moistened 

sapof the Ipoh tree is *' boiled down to and warmed over the fire, aad then 

the consistency of thick treacle, a large applied to the dart.** Cp. also De la 

(jnantity at a time. It will then, in a Croix, p. 354, as to the varying 1 

properly stoppered bamboo, keep for of the Sakai poison (even on the darts 
any length of time. When required of the same quiver). ** Wray, ^ r. 


SO that when its chisel-shaped upper end was applied 
to the bark of the tree below a score the sap flowed, 
first down its upper surface till it met with a cut 
channel which conducted it round to the under surface, 
and then into the bamboo receptacle.^ 

The sap being collected, two wooden spatulas were 
prepared, and a piece of large bamboo split in half so 
as to form a small trough, and the sap poured into it. 
The larger spatula was heated over a fire and the sap 
ladled out of the bamboo and spread on its heated 
surface by means of the smaller spatula, and dried by- 
being held with the uncoated side over the fire ; it 
was then reversed and sap spread on its upper or 
uncoated side, and when that was in its turn nearly 
dry, again reversed and a fi-esh supply of sap applied 
to the surface first coated. This was repeated until 
all the sap had been inspissated.*^ 

The darts are coated in the manner before 
mentioned, and when the poison is very hard and dry 
and will not soften by being heated, a few drops ot 
water are put on to the spatula and mixed, by means 
of a smaller spatula, with the poison until it acquires 
the right consistency to apply to the points of the darts.* 

The Sakai and Semang methods of collecting and 
preparing the poison are really the same, only differing 
in details. The Sakai, however, do not mix " iSkir " 
juice with the Ipoh,and the way they mix the "gadong" 
juice with it is not the same as that employed by the 
Semang. For this purpose the Ipoh sap is prepared 
as just described, and a piece of the " gadong '* tuber is 
peeled and sliced up fine and placed in a joint of a 
bamboo, and ground up with water by means of a 
wooden pestle. The fluid is then poured off and 

» /. A, I. vol. XXL (189a), pp. 479, 480. « lb, « lb. 


fresh water added and the process repeated. The 
fluid is then boiled and filtered through leaves in 
which some fine scrapings of bamboo are put. It is 
then evaporated in an open vessel over a fire to the 
consistency of a thick syrup, and mixed with the Ipoh 
in the proportion of three parts of Ipoh to one of 
** gadong." ^ 

The Sakai living in the plains employ the 
Antiaris poison, as a rule, since the plants from which 
it is prepared are low-country forms ; but the Sakai of 
the hills use a poison prepared from three hill plants 
known as '* Ipoh akar," or root Ipoh — in contradistinc- 
tion to the Antiaris or "Ipoh kayu" (tree Ipoh) — 
"prual," and "lampong."* 

" Ipoh akar *' is a large climbing Strychnos, with a 
stem often as much as three inches in diameter. It 
has dark green glabrous, opposite leaves, with three 
prominent longitudinal veins. The fruit is said to be 
large and round, and to contain seeds about half an 
inch in diameter, and the flower is stated to be reddish. 
It grows on the hills, and is to be seen at over 
4000 feet elevation. The specimens procured were 
collected on Gunong Batu Putih in Batang Padang. 
The portion of this plant from which the poison is 
extracted is the bark of the roots and lower part of 
the stem. It is often employed without admixture, 
and is then prepared * as follows : — 

The bark, which is burnt sienna coloured, is 
scraped with knives from the roots ; the scrapings are 
put into a pan with water and boiled, the water is 
poured ofl* and filtered. Fresh water is added to the 
bark, which is again boiled for some minutes, and the 
water poured off* a second time. The exhausted 

* /. A, L vol. xxi. (1892)* p. 480. r^! r^[ 


shavings of bark are then thrown away, and the 
filtered infusion, which is bright burnt sienna coloured, 
is reduced by boiling in an open pan to a syrup. It 
is then poured while hot into a bamboo, where it 
solidifies. It is applied to the darts in the manner 
already explained, and is said to be more powerful 
than the AntiariSy but is rendered quicker in its 
action when mixed with the poison derived from the 
other two plants above mentioned.^ 

Of these " prual " ^ is also a climber, growing on the 
hills. The largest stem Mr. Wray had seen was one 
and a half inches in diameter. It has opposite bright 
green entire leaves, but of its flowers and fruit he 
had neither seen nor been able to get any description. 
The young shoots contain a very fine strong white 
silky fibre. His specimens were also collected on 
Gunong Batu Putih. The bark of the roots, which is 
rather pale yellow in colour, is the part of the plant 
which is employed in making the poison. This 
arrow-poison is said not to be so strong as Antiaris, 
but to be quite capable of killing when used by itself.* 

The third plant is called " lampong," and is also a 
climbing species of Strychnos.^ It has opposite three- 
veined leaves like " Ipoh akar" (only they are consider- 
ably smaller), and it is stated to have similar fruit, but 
grows lower down on the hills, Mr. Wray's specimens 
being collected on the Cheroh hills. Like the two 
preceding plants, the bark of the roots, which is white, 
is the part from which the poison is extracted. It is 
said to be not so powerful as "prual," but is often 
employed by itself.* 

In making the mixed poison six parts of scraped 

> /. A, L vol xxl (1892), p. 481. * Copiosapellaflavescms. 

» Wray, /. c. * Sir. Maingayiy Chrke. * Wray, /. c. 


** Ipoh akar " bark are taken, to which is added one part 
of each of "prual" and "lampong" bark, and the mixture 
is exhausted with boiling water, filtered and evaporated 
in the same way as has already been described when 
simple " Ipoh akar " is treated.^ 

It was stated by the Sakai that Anitaris and '' Ipoh 
akar " are rarely if ever mixed with one another. The 
latter poison is said to retain its virulence, in the 
form of an extract, for years.* 

III. — Jakun. 
Weapons and Implements. 
The same remarks that have been made with 
regard to stone implements in the case of the Semang 
and the Sakai apply with at least equal force to the 
third branch of these aboriginal tribes, and need 
not therefore be recapitulated here. The weapons and 
implements of the Jakun at present are the "parang*' 
or chopping-knife, the "sgligi " or "squailer," the spear 
(originally of bamboo), the blowpipe, and (finally) 
the adze, although knowledge of this latter appears to 
have been merely borrowed by the Jakun from their 
more progressive neighbours. As has already been 
recorded, an old writer declares that he met a Jakun at 
Malacca in 1833, who claimed to have killed a man at 
the distance of 40 yards (36.5 m.) with a clay pellet 
that he had discharged from his blowpipe.' 

The Spear. 

Of the Jakun spear, we are told that it consists 

of an iron blade of about i ft. long (30 cm.) and i in. 

(2.5 cm.) broad in the middle, attached to a thick, rudely 

worked shaft about five or six feet long, and sharp at 

> Wray in/. A, I. vol. xxi. (1892), p. 481. ^~fb. ' B<^ie, {^ 5> 6. 

^K^'^-i;^ ..;^-"> 


QiivKK Willi Darts. 

'W. /./. 304. 

Jakun using Blo.vpipe, Lubo' K'lubi, Ulu Langat, Selangor. 

/W. /. /. 305. 


the inferior extremity, in order to enter easily into the 
ground ; for before the Jakun enter a house they strike 
the end of the spear into the ground, where it remains 
until they go away. It is scarcely possible to meet a 
single Jakun without his spear,^ which is both a stick 
to walk with and an offensive or defensive weapon as 
occasion may require. The " parang " is an iron blade 
of about I ft. (30 cm.) long, and 2-3 in. (5 cm. to 7.5 
cm.) broad, with a shaft like that of a large knife ; they 
use it to cut trees employed in the building of their 
houses ; and to cut branches to open a passage when 
journeying through thick jungle ; as well as for a de- 
fensive weapon against wild beasts. On one occasion 
Logan heard of a Jakun who, being attacked by a 
tiger, defended himself with a "parang" (the only 
weapon he had with him at that time). Nearly half 
an hour was spent in this singular combat ; the Jakun 
lost an eye and was seriously wounded in the head ; 
but the tiger paid the forfeit with his life.* 

Jakun, N. Sembilan. — Of the weapons of the Negri 
Sembilan tribes scarcely any records have been 
published. Rowland, however {loc. cit,), cannot help 
expressing his astonishment at the certainty with which 
they could hit a target measuring only i ft. (30 cm.) 
square at distances ranging up to 80 m. At the same 
time he describes in detail their method of discharging 
the blowpipe, which was to take the mouthpiece 
partially into the mouth (so that the mouthpiece for 
at least 2 cm. was covered by the upper lip, and to a 
lesser extent by the under one). And the same writer 
has also remarked that instead of the arms being 

1 ^. y. ^. vol. ii. p. 262. Cp.,how- parang, the sumpitan with poisoned 

«vcr, Wray, who states that "the Jakun arrows, and a few of them the spear." 
of the Menangkabau States use the ' Cp. vol. i. p. 272. 



Stretched far forward to support the shaft of the blow- 
pipe (as it might be expected would be the case), it is 
the mouthpiece itself that is held (firmly and in both 
hands) immediately in front of the operator's mouth. 

Blandas. — The Blandas (Langat) blowpipe is hardly 
distinguishable from the Besisi weapon, and will be 
described more fully under that head. The dart was 
of the midrib of a fan-palm leaf (** sSrdang '* or " kSpau"), 
its butt-end (**basong") of ''akar mSnitan," and the 
leaf carried inside the lid of the " tabong t6la," or 
** dart-quiver," as a squirrel-charm, was •* sSlerik tupei." 

The Spear. 

BeslsL — The Besisi, like the Blandas, get their 
spears from the Malays. A favourite form of spear 
among the Besisi is the fish-spear, of which there are 
several varieties ; most of these types, however, have 
been borrowed from the Malays, as was their Besisi 
name " tiruk." 

The BloTvpipe. 

The inner tube of the Besisi blowpipe is made 
(as among all the tribes already referred to) from 
a couple of internodes of the long -jointed bamboa 
{Bambusa Wrayt). The middle node having been 
excised, the abutting ends of the two pieces are 
brought together again, coated with a little resin to 
make them adhere better, and spliced, as among the 
Sakai of Perak, by means of a connecting cylinder or 
jacket, which is fitted over their abutting ends. 

One of these pieces of the blowpipe is invariably 
longer than the other, and is called by the Besisi the 
'* man-piece," the shorter one being called the 
** woman-piece," the Besisi women being, as a rule,. 


markedly shorter than the men of the tribe. Occasion- 
ally, however, these pieces are called the '* mother- 
piece" and "child-piece" respectively. The con- 
necting-piece is called "chSmat" (as among the 

For making the mouthpiece, which is always of 
wood, a hole is bored right through the piece of wood 
selected for the purpose; it is then fitted by hand 
into the butt-end of the inner tube, the end of 
which is cut off flush with it. In order to make the 
fit a tight one, the lips of the mouthpiece (which are 
made long and thin to facilitate their introduction 
between the inner and the outer tube) are in many 
cases cut or broken at one side, thus enabling a fine 
slip of cane to be pushed into the interstice, so as to 
act as a delicate wedge. In some cases leaves are 
used as a wedge (instead of this slip of cane), and 
some of these bear traces of fire at their edges, as if 
it had been intended to dry or harden them. Thin 
strips of cloth are also sometimes similarly used by 
the more civilised tribes. 

The mouthpiece when complete is fitted on to one 
end of the inner tube, which then only requires to be 
fitted carefully to the bigger tube that forms the case or 
sheathing. The latter, on account of the connecting- 
piece or jacket that unites the two inner parts, has 
naturally to be rather lai^er than would otherwise be 

The outer Tube or Casing. 

The casing is manufactured either from Bambusa 
Wrayi or some similar kind of long-jointed bamboo, by 
poking out the central node with a sharpened spike or 
boring-rod ( *' jengroh " or "jengrok " ) made of a hard 


kind of palm -wood. The ragged portions of the 
internode which still remain are rasped down with the 
formidably armed leaf-whip (** onak ") of a rattan (or 
** Wait-a-bit Thorn "), which is thrust down into the 
tube and worked to and fro until the jagged remains 
of the node have been entirely removed. 

Both the inner tube and its case having thus been 
prepared and cut to the same length, it only remains 
to push the former with great care into its casing. 

Treatment of the Muzzle-end. 

But in order to obviate the inconvenience and 
risk of a " loose fit," several narrow and long wedge- 
shaped strips about a foot and a half long (like the 
" gores " in the waist of a lady's skirt) are excised at 
the muzzle-end of the case, and the inner tube, which 
is now cut shorter than the case (by about 3 inches), 
is pushed down into it as far as it will go {i.e, to 
within 3 in. (7.5 cm.) of the muzzle-end of the case). 

The split ends of the case are now drawn together 
till they fit the blowpipe tightly, and a short thick 
cylinder, of a woody kind of bamboo, and measuring 
about 3 in. (7.5 cm.) long, having been fitted into the 
vacant space inside the muzzle -end (to which the 
blowpipe does not reach), the whole affair is bound 
round either by a single long strip of cane, or by 
numerous rings of plaited cane, and coated over with a 
thick crust of tree-gum or resin in order to keep these 
lashings from working loose, this elaborate arrange- 
ment being finished off by a small ring-shaped piece 
of coconut- or tortoise-shell which is imbedded in the 
resin at the muzzle-end of the blowpipe in order to 
protect the muzzle from fraying or from similar 


injury.^ The blowpipe is now ready for use, and it only 
remains to decorate it with the customary patterns or 
magic emblems employed by the tribe. 


The question of ornamentation will be treated 
more conveniently elsewhere, but I may remark in 
passing that although the patterns of the Besisi 
blowpipes were, with few exceptions, of the highly 
conventionalised rectilinear incision type, I neverthe- 
less more than once noticed the delineation of some 
animal or reptile {e.g. a lizard) upon their polished 
shafts. The ordinary motive in the blowpipe and 
quiver patterns of this tribe — at least as the matter 
was explained to me by the Besisi themselves — 
consisted of the representation (in an extremely rudi- 
mentary form) of the limbs and body of the spectacled 
monkey or *' lotong " (Semnopithecus). 

The outer case of the Besisi blowpipe was divided, 
as a rule, into two approximate halves by the central 
node or knot. Subdividing it further, roughly speak- 
ing, into quarters, the second quarter (counting from 
the muzzle-end) was almost invariably left undecorated, 
except perhaps by one or two rings or zigzags, this 
being the part by which it was, I understood, most 

^ There can be little doubt that the of blowpipes in the Peninsula are with- 

object of this device is simply to out this device, yet the quarry is so 

strengthen the blowpipe. Vaughan- little dbturbed by their *' tone '* that a 

Stevens, in describing a similar device bird sitting on a tree may be shot at 

among the Mantra, supposes it to be and missed several times before it will 

due to a wish on the part of the move. Moreover, the sharper tone 

Mantra to obtain a sharper tone or would necessarily be heard further, 

note from the dart as it leaves the At the same time this device un- 

tube, probably (he thinks) because the doubtedly improves the weapon by 

sharper tone would be less audible to rendering it less liable to warp 

the quarry. There does not, however, interiorly, and by weighting it better, 

appear to be the slightest foundation It also has the advantage of keeping 

for any such supposition. The majority out insects. 


generally held when it was being carried on a hunt- 
ing expedition. I cannot say for certain whether 
this explanation is of wider application, but if so it 
would explain why this part of the bamboo is so 
frequently stripped of its outer cuticle and polished 
with wax. 

The Cleaning-rod, 

A primitive kind of cleaning -rod which was 
frequently used by the Besisi was called ** jenghek." 
It was made on the ramrod principle, a long rod of 
palm-wood being perforated at one end, and strips of 
palm -leaf threaded through the perforation. This 
rod, when worked up and down the tube, made the 
cleaning of the interior of the blowpipe an easy 
matter. The muzzle of the blowpipe was in addition, 
not unfrequently, stoppered with leaves in order to 
keep out white ants, the small wild bees called 
^'kSlulut," and many other kinds of insect — a pre- 
caution which is of no small importance in the Malay 

The Dart. 

The following are the names given by the Besisi 
to the different parts of their blowpipe-dart ("ddmik"). 
The shaft is called " huyang," the butt-end " bentol," 
the point "chen,** and the nick above the point "gret." 

The conical butt-end (also called ** tom bentol *') 
is only made of what is called in Besisi "long angkau," 
— which is the stem of a kind of creeper called in 
Malay ** akar lada luan," — or of some light wood such 
as '* pulai." 

The stem or shaft of the dart is made from the 
leaf- ribs of various kinds of palm, especially the 
*' sgrdang," ** ranggam," " kgpau," ** kumung ** (.'*), and 


"bgrtam/' though a shaft made of the last-named 
material is generally considered to be of inferior quality.^ 

The shaft of the dart with the point broken off is 
called *' pandong dimak/* 

The polishing process, which is carried out very 
carefully by the Besisi (with "memplas" leaves), is 
called ** chSngat." 

The Poison. 

We now come to the Besisi dart -poison, the 
ordinary ingredients of which were given me as 
follows : — 

(i) ** Ipoh batang" (in Besisi, **ch€s")=^«/mm 
toxicaria, the Upas tree (the Poison-tree of Java). 

(2) "Malai."* 

(3) -Tenet."' 

(4) ** J6na\" or " tuba," the well-known Malay fish- 
poison similarly used by the Besisi. 

According to another account that I received, the 
ingredients of the Besisi poison * were : — 

(i) "Chong ches" (root of the "ipoh" creeper =^ 
Strychnos tieute). 

(2) " Ches {i.e. " ipoh ") malai." 

(3) '* Ches \i.e. " ipoh ") tenet." 

(4) **Ches(z>. "ipoh")kroi." 

(5) **Jgna'"(Mal. "tuba"). 

(6) •• Pgdas," or pepper.^ 

(7) ** Warang," or arsenic. 

^ Occasionally we meet with the being used at all requires corrobora- 

statement that these darts are made of tion. 

bamboo. Darts made of this material, ' 3= ** Blay " (V.-St.). For identifi- 

however, would be of inferior quality, cations, v. App. 

and where the report of its use is not • = " Kannet" (V.-Su). 

due to careless observation, its employ- ^ For identifications, and a similar 

ment is doubtless due to some tem- receipt given by Bellamy (p. 229), v. 

^niy difficulty of obtaining a better App. 

material. This employment of bamboo * For a suggested reason (for the em- 
is not at all usual, and the fiact of its ployment of pepper), sec p. 319, «. 7. 


(8) ** Gengang" — a kind of large millipede. 

(9) The "teeth** ("Igmoyn'*) of tigers, centipedes, 
and snakes. 

When the sap of the Upas creeper was used 
instead of, or in conjunction with, that of the tree 
Upas, the roots of the creeper were simply grubbed 
up and shredded. When the sap of the tree Upas was 
used, the collector, using his jungle-knife (** parang "). 
would slash the outer bark of the Upas (a tall forest 
tree growing sometimes to 100 feet in height), 
making V-shaped incisions, at the lowest ipoint of 
each of which the sap would naturally accumulate, 
which was accordingly drawn off at will. When the 
scar was healed (but not before) a fresh supply of 
sap may be obtained by slashing the bark in a fresh 
place. Each new incision was generally made a little 
higher up than the last, and I have seen a tree covered 
with the scars, the highest of which perhaps reached 
a distance of at least 30 or 40 feet from the ground. 

The sap thus collected was gradually reduced by 
long and patient boiling, as among the Sakai, to 
the consistency of treacle, and when sufficiently 
inspissated, was poured off into a small bamboo 
poison-tube called "jglok," which is carefully stoppered 
with a wooden stopper until required for use. Bellamy 
(/. ^.) says that prepared opium (** chandu ") is also 
sometimes added. 

Poisoning the Dart, 

When the time arrived, the poison was applied to 
the dart -point as usual, forming a thick clot about 
the point, and an entire quiverful of darts having 
been poisoned, they were at once deposited upon a 
highly ingenious drying rack or stand, and placed in 


the sun to dry, the stand being designed not only 
to hold them in position, but also to prevent them 
from being accidentally knocked against, or perhaps 
blown away in a high wind. 

When the drying was completed the darts 
were fitted into the reed-bundle of the quiver, and 
their butt-ends branded or marked with lime and 
water, in order to distinguish the various strengths of 
the poison, the designs consisting of bars, crosses, and 

The usual nick (as has been said) was made round 
the dart, but there was a belief among the Besisi that 
no acid fruit should be eaten with the flesh of animals 
killed by these darts, as they believed this would 
bring out the full effects of the poison in the eater. 

In addition to the above must be noticed the 
belief, which was related to me by the Besisi, to the 
effect that even the branch struck by a poisonous dart 
dies, not immediately, but slowly and surely.^ 

The Quiver. 

The Besisi quiver (like that of the Sakai) was 
carried on the left hip, and fastened about the 
waist with a cord of twisted tree-bark, secured by 
a buckle of bone or tortoiseshell. 

The interior of the quiver is fitted with a roUed- 
up bundle of small tubes or reeds made of young 
bamboo twigs, about as big as an ordinary lead- 
pencil. These reeds are united by lashings inside 
the body of the quiver, each reed holding a single 
dart, the butt-end of which fits closely into its 
own individual reed at the upper extremity. 

^ I may also mention that the Besisi, maize was the only antidote for this 
like many other aborigines, asserted that Upas poison. 


The cover or cap of the quiver, which was made 
of finely woven basket-work (of rattan), was fitted 
on to its upper end or top.^ It consisted of three 
triangular sections of basket-work, the edges of 
which overlapped, and were so brought together as to 
make a kind of peaked lid. Inside this cap was kept 
a supply of the usual palm-down (or tinder),* the in- 
teriorly projecting edges of the cap-sections being 
left free to hold this down or fluff in its place.' An 
additional supply, together with the complete apparatus 
required for poisoning fresh darts when the supply 
runs short, is sometimes pushed down into the centre 
of the spiral formed by the rolled-up reed-bundle. 
It was also the rule among the Besisi to carry in the 
quiver a little beeswax for polishing the points of 
their darts, so as to prevent them from adhering to 
the sides of the reeds. To effect this polishing they 
wax a rectangular panel on the front of the quiver, 
after scraping off the surface of the cuticle, and work 
up the points of their darts by rolling them upon it. 

The quiver is called ** lok " in Besisi ( = " tglak " 
elsewhere), and its cover (Mai. **tudong") was 
called " tebong lok." Inside this cover, which was 
hollowed out of a soft wood resembling " pulai," was 
carried the tinder or palm-fluff (the "rabok tukas" 
of the Malays =Bes. '*barok'*), which was used, as 
has been said, as a sort of wadding for preventing 
windage in shooting with the blowpipe. 

In addition to this tinder, two or three leaves of a 
creeper called the ** Bringer-down of squirrels " * 
(•* akar pgnurun tupei "), or of another creeper called 

^ Cp. V.-St. ii. 121. * ?=**Penurun lotong" ("Bringw- 

^ See p. 260, ante^ n. I. down of monkeys "), GaUaria subulaiOr^ 

* In the wooden cap a slight bamboo MucU. It is called by the Blandas 

bar takes their place. "salerik tupei." 


y. < 

E :3 

_ V 1) 

15 ^ 

Skeat ColUction. 

Drying- Rack for Blowpipe Darts kmfloyed by the Bksisi. 

^keat CotUcti0n, 

Bksisi Apparatus for krkwing Dart-Poison. 

I. Pestle for pounding "ipoh." 2. Cloth strainer. 3,4,5- Receptacles for the poi^on. 
6. Poison-holder or tube for carrying? " ii>oh." 

BrSt, Mus. 

Kuantan Darts with Poison Spatila. 

Presented hy Mr. I>ougla.s to the British Museum. (See p. 326.) 

r^/. /./. 3t5. 


** akar samQga'," are carried by way of a charm for 
success in hunting, like the "siyap" of the Dayaks. 

The reeds (of the reed-bundle in the quiver) are 
called *'plet." 

The Blowpipe. 

Mantra. — The weapons of the Mantra are the 
blowpipe, spear, the Malay dagger or ** kris,*' and 
a kind of (Malay) sword called ** chgnangkas." ^ 

There is no important difference between the 
Mantra methods of manufacturing the blowpipe, 
and those practised by the Besisi. A few words 
with regard to the polishing and other processes 
may, however, here be added. The polishing of the 
interior of the blowpipe-tube is begun by means of 
bamboo shavings fixed to the end of a cleaning-rod.^ 

The process is then repeated a second time with 
*' polishing -leaves" (of **akar simplas*'), and again 
a third time with a small strip of bark-cloth, which 
is used merely to give it a ** finish/' * 

The two portions of the blowpipe-tube are then 
spliced in the usual way (as among the Besisi). The 
only difference lies in the nomenclature used by 

* y.*/. A, vol. i. p. 330*. die, but they are generally lost to the 

* ' Vaughan-Stevens, iL 1 14. For sportsman, as they are able to run 

the Mantra blowpipe, see Barbe : ** To (after having been wounded) to a great 

procure (their food) they use the sumpi- distance. These savages seldom miss 

tan, which b a bamboo from 6 to 8 feet their aim. I have seen them thus 

long ; the arrows are slips of bamboo shoot with their arrows monkeys seated 

10 inches long, with a piece of lig^t on trees of 70 or 80 feet high, when 

wood at the bottom, shaped to the the wounded animal, after jumping on 

bore of the tube, which they propel some other branches, and throwing 

by blowing hard. The point of the away what he was eating, immediately 

arrow being anointed with a prepared after fell down, if the * ipoh ' had 

poison called * ipoh,' communicates it been well prepared ** (Rev. M. Barbe, 

to the blood, and after two or three in the Bengal Catholic Herald, 12th 

minutes the animal vomits and falls June 1850 ; quoted in J. I, A, vol. v. 

dead. Should the arrow penetrate the pp. 487, 488). Cp. also Borie, ante. 
skin of large animals, many of them 


the Mantra, who call the longer portion of the inner 
tube "sulu" ("sooloo"), and the shorter one **tongkat/* 
the outer shaft or case being called "tagu" (**targoo"). 
As among the Besisi, the connecting-piece or "jacket" 
(of ** rappen " bamboo) is called " chfimat." ^ 

The hollow in the mouthpiece of this blowpipe, 
which is made of "jSlotong" wood, is bored with 
" a wooden awl " — ** jfilotong *' being a very soft wood, 
which lends itself readily to this treatment.* 

The knots of the outer shaft are pierced in the 
ordinary way, and the hole enlarged as usual with 
the prickly leaf- whips or ** onak " of the " Rotan 
tunggal." Next the leaves of the ** Rotan riong " (?) 
are substituted and the process continued, until the 
enlarging process is complete, when the interior is 
polished in the usual way (as among the Besisi). 
The bamboos are often dried and kept for a con- 
siderable time before they are made into a blowpipe.' 

The external cuticle is next scraped or shaved off 
at the muzzle -end for a distance of a short span 
(measured from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the 
forefinger) to enable the resin to adhere more securely. 
This portion of the tube is then split into the desired 
number of subdivisions, one of which is again split to 
take the end of a " rattan " lashing, which is pushed 
home. A small hole is made at the upper end of 
one of the splits, and the end (of the lashing) pushed 
through it and fastened off there.* 

A quantity of resin is then melted and coloured 
with black from the cooking-pots, and poured round the 
whole of the split part. Before the binding process 

^ Vaughan - Stevens, il 114 seqq, of it; the sheath from tip of index -finger 
The «* sulu " measures the maker's to the opposite thumb. Both tube and 
** full arm-stretch," the ** tongkat " half case are of "tcmiang" bamboo. **♦/*. 


has been completed, however, a small (tubular) piece 
of another kind of woody bamboo (** pagai ") of small 
calibre is inserted into the aperture of the muzzle. This 
serves as an internal block (** sunglork " = ** senglik **) 
for supporting and protecting this portion of the tube, 
and for keeping the splits in their proper (relative) posi- 
tion. It forms part of the case, not of the inner tube.^ 

The longer portion of the blowpipe-tube is fitted 
to this block, and a ring of coconut-shell called 
'*l6ngait" (" linghite **) is imbedded in the resin at 
the muzzle-end, which is heated to receive it.* 

This ** muzzle-block" produces an especially sharp 
note as the dart passes out at the muzzle. It is 
difficult to describe this note, which, however, is much 
less audible than the note produced when no muzzle- 
block is used, and Vaughan-Stevens supposes it to be 
the result of an effort to weaken the note and make it 
less audible to the quarry.^ 

The outer cuticle of the case is also scraped or 
shaved off in several places, part being polished and 
rubbed with bees-wax, which latter substance is also 
used for rubbing that part of the case which is neither 
shaved nor polished.* 

The Dart. 

The darts are of the thick outer rind of the 
" krfidok " palm, the butts of the soft inner wood of 

1 V.-St.ii. 119. See the Besisi blow- the curve of the mouthpiece b^ns" 
pipe, p. 308, supra. The description in should be corrected to **at the extremity 
the original (p. 1 19) is very involved of the muzzle-end," where the ** sung- 
and muddled, owing to a confusion of the lork** is invariably placed, and indeed 
muzzle-end and the mouthpiece. The if it were not so how could the darts 
diagrams, too, in the original passage, pass out of the blowpipe ? The muzzle- 
have evidently got mixed. Thedescrip- end, too, has no curve as the mouth- 
tion of the ' ' sunglork " (probably *■ * seng- piece has. These errors have been cor- 
lik") as being placed in position ** where rected in the present text, • • ♦ Id, 


*• habong," or of " tarentong." ^ The butt-end is fixed 
on with resin, and the shaft of the dart is rubbed with 
beeswax ; warped darts are straightened over the 
fire by hand, and marks are only added to the butt- 
end when it is necessary to distinguish two strengths 
of poison in one quiver ; in which case it is (as might 
be expected) the darts tipped with the stronger poison 
that receive the marks.^ Various standards of measure- 
ment • for the darts are given, a dart of the longest 
standard being always used first at the trial of a blow- 
pipe, and then the next and the next longest, until 
the one which appears most suitable is selected.* 

The Poison. 

Vaughan-Stevens' account * of the Mantra poison 
appears to be a jumble of several receipts, but is 
given here as the details may be worth verifying. 

To make a spoonful of poison five strips of " kroie " • 
bark are pounded with a pestle (" pomonong," sic) in 
an iron pot which has first been prepared by waxing. 
Water is added, and the liquor boiled about ten minutes. 
The pot is then taken off the fire and deposited on a 
stand consisting of a wooden fork which has a cross- 
piece, intended to hold the pot, fastened across the 
bifurcated portion. The fork-ends rest on the ground, 
and the upper end or shaft is supported at a sharp 
angle of about 45 degrees. The pot is then tipped up 

1 Or of bamboo, see p. 315, «. i, ** [arm] -bone," from elbow to wrist. 

suffra. ** Habong " is unidentified ; Length of the butt-end : shortest little 

" kr€dok" is Cyrtostachis laca; ** taren- finger-joint ; thumb or thumb-nail (?) ; 

tong " is Campncsperma auricultUa, thumb-joint ; breadth of forefinger, or 

Seep. 331, 1. 2. *«tampong k'ladi" (yam-calix), about 

* Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 123. half of the first-mentioned. 

• E,g. "ukor susu," i,e. breast to * Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 124. 
breast, or elbow to nearest breast (of ** Ibid, p. 125 seqg, 

the maker); and <*sattt tulang," an ^ Lophopeialum pallidum, — Ridley. 


till the liquor is close to the brim, and one end of a 
roll of bamboo shavings (about 4 inches long) is in- 
serted in the liquor, the other end being placed in a 
special receptacle made of bark, so as to draw off the 
poison by suction. The liquor thus drawn off is put 
back into the pot and root-shavings of the " umpas 
padi," " koopur,"^ " prachek,*'^ ** mundess," ** chantong 
badak," and "gadong"' are added. The pot is then 
boiled for about ten minutes more, when it is again 
set on the stand and skimmed with a kind of woolly 
leaf — that of a plant called " chapa-neng." * The 
bark receptacle (covered with a species of sieve- 
shaped filter) is now set on the ground (underneath 
the forked stand on which the pot is resting). A 
funnel is made of the woolly leaves referred to, and 
the liquor drawn off into the funnel by the suction of 
the bamboo shavings (already described), a few fine 
punctures being made in the bottom of the funnel to 
facilitate the process.* 

The pot is then rinsed, the liquor put back, and 
the "ipoh'** and "tuba**^ added (the latter being 
first, however, pounded and mixed in the bark re- 
ceptacle with a little liquor from the pot).® 

The bark receptacle is then rinsed and the rinsings 
added to the pot, together with a pod of chillies 
(** Spanish pepper ").* 

After ten minutes* boiling the pot is again removed 
and set down on the stand, and the process of filtra- 
tion repeated in exactly the same manner as before. 

» Le. "kupor" Cakar"). Prob. * V.-St. ii. 125. 

Riibus moluccanuSt'L,,\}a!tcom.moTiv>i\\d • Antiaris toxicaria (Upas tree) or 

raspberry. For identifications, v, App. Strychnos tieute (Upas creeper). 

^ Or "pA'achet''= Tabemamoniana ^ Derris elliptica^ Benth. ^ V.-St. Ic. 

malaccensis^ Hook. fil. ' This is to keep evil spirits from 

' Dioscorea damonum, Roxb. entering the poison and destroying its 

* CUrodendronveluHnum,—^^^, power (Vaughan-Stevens, iL 128). 


The pot is once more rinsed and dried on the fire, 
the liquor (in the bark receptacle) put back into the 
pot, the fire reduced, and the pot slowly boiled till 
a mere spoonfiil of gold -brown syrup is all that 

When properly made, as described, the liquor can 
(by dipping a spatula into it) be drawn out into long 
thin elastic strings about an inch in length, though 
this only happens when a sufficient quantity of 
** tuba" is used,* 

When the poison has been transferred (by means of 
the spatula) into the bamboo poison-tube or poison- 
carrier,* fresh poison obtained from snakes, centipedes, 
and scorpions may be added to it. A lemon- (or lime ?) 
pip is spitted upon the point of a dart and burnt, the 
charred pip being mixed with a lump of arsenic " as 
big as the head of a match,** and stirred round in the 

Three drops of the sap of " Rotan kSmanting " 
may be added, but this appears to be an innova- 
tion. The Mantra poison is very sticky, and seldom 
dries properly unless ** ipoh " is mixed with it.*^ 


In speaking of antidotes, it is interesting to note 
Logan's remark to the effect that the Mantra were 
in the habit of saying that they found resistance to 
the Menangkabau Malays in vain, because the latter 
were armed with muskets, and had learned the use 
of antidotes to their "ipoh" poison, so that the 

1 V.-St il 127. « V.-St. (ibicL) called "tahi m'ret" ["tahi m&et"= 

adds that when a ring of lighter colour ** ants' dung " in the Jakun dialect], 

is seen at the edges of the "ipoh " during ' In original, " into the tube of the 

the boiling, it is believed to be a sign quiver ^^ (sic). 

of strength (of the poison), and is ^ ' V.-St /. c. 




slender darts of the blowpipe inflicted but little injury 
upon them.^ 

The Quiver. 

Their quiver, which is of** t^lang " bamboo, is dried 
at leisure when not required for immediate use. Often, 
however, it is merely filled with hot ashes and dried 
in the sun for two to three days to expedite matters.^ 

The cap is manufactured from a small block of 
soft wood (that of the ** jfilotong '' tree). After it has 
been roughly shaped, a small depression is made at 
one end, in which red-hot embers are laid. When it 
has been charred sufficiently deep the hole is cleared 
out and shaped with a knife, and fresh embers put in 
to complete the burning-out process. The outside is 
shaped with a knife as required.* 

The Mantra quiver alone has a broad band woven 
according to what is called the " bat*s-wing " pattern, 
near the top, in addition to the ordinary rings or 
lashings.^ The girdle is of ** t*rap " bark, with a knot 
as buckle. 

' /. I. A. voL i. p. 273. 
' Vaughan-SteveDs (ii. 120) gives 
several words for this process, as used 
hj various tribes, but with one prob- 
able exception they are all bad Malay 
meaning ** quick " or " rapid.** 

They are — 
" chiipat " (used by Sakai) = Malay 

" banghat " ^ (used by T " bangat** 
and > Kenaboi) < and 
"dras** j =Malay ("dras**: 
'^ertjoos" (used by Besisi), which is 
merely a corrupt form of the common 
Besisi word '^jo-joss** (whidi un- 
doubtedly stands for "j6s-j6ss"=: 
" quick-quick **). 

* The description here (Vanghan- 
Stevens, iL 123) is very obscure and 
confused. The key to the employment 
of this process is the use of j^otong ** 


wood, the soft central portion of which 
has necessarily to be burnt out to pre- 
vent it from decaying, the hole beii^ 
then plugged with wax to make the 
cap water-proof. 

♦ This same (bat's-wing) pattern as 
seen (in the same position) on the 
quiver of the O. Kuantan may per- 
haps be a reminiscence of the time 
when a woven band, similar to that 
of the Mantra, occupied its place. 
This woven band (of the Mantra 
quiver) encircles externally that part of 
the quiver in which is kept the "so- 
called pintal tukas.*' 

[5fVVaughan-Stevens, iL 122. But 
here there seems to be a considerable 
muddle, as on the same page " pintal ** 
is explained as the name of the girdle, 
and <* pintal tukas '* as the name of the 
floccolent wad which goes behind the 





The Mantra, like the Besisi, make a rectangular 
patch or panel in front of the quiver by scraping off 
the surface of the cuticle and waxing it. It is on this 
patch that they work up (by rolling) the points of 
their darts. Vaughan-Stevens states that the effect 
of wax is also occasionally obtained by their rubbing 
the nose upon it, the required effect being produced 
by the natural moisture of the skin. Grotesque as this 
statement sounds, it may yet have some truth in it. 
I myself have more than once seen the Besisi rub 
the nose upon the panels of their quivers, though I have 
never seen or heard of the remainder of the operation 
here described, and at the most, all that can be safely 
said against it is that Vaughan-Stevens* account re- 
quires further corroboration.^ 

The Mantra, like most of the other tribes, carry 
a small stock of resin at (or near) the bottom of the 
quiver, this being chiefly intended for fixing on the 
butt-ends of the darts should they work loose at any 
time. The interior is fitted with the usual reeds.* 

butt-end {pfrppfen) of the dart, and 
which is the material really referred to 
in the last sentence. For ''pintal tukas,'* 
therefore, in this passage read *< tukas " 
or <*rabok tukas," i.e, Huff of the 
tukas-palm {wad. passim when this fluff is 
referred to), but keep "pintal," ue, 
plait or plaiting, for the girdle. *■ ' Tukas *' 
has nothing whatever to do with 
"tikus," as suggested by Vaughan- 
Stevens (note to V.-St ii. 121).] 

^ Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 121 -122. 
This rectangular patch was only seen 
by Vaughan-Stevens among the Mantra, 
who use, he sajrs, a very sticky 
poison which seldom properly dries. 
The Mantra, he says, call it "linghur," 
which Vaughan-Stevens* editor suggests 
may = Mai. **lingga." The nearest 
word that I can find, however, is 
Malayo-Javanese **lenga'* = oil. The 
sense is right, and with Vaughan- 

Stevens' wretdied orth<^raphy its cor- 
ruption into such a form as ** linghur" 
would be more than probable. I myself 
have frequently seei^hese same patches 
on the quivers of the BesisL 

* See Vaughan-Stevens, iL 105, 106 ; 
1 22. Vaughan-Stevens says this resin is 
obtained from a tree which he has 
been unable to identify, but which is 
called **keeji" (su). According to 
Blagden, **kijai" is (properly speak- 
ing) the resin obtained from the 
'*kedondang'' tree, and there can 
be little doubt that this is its right 
meaning here. He adds that it was 
formerly used for fixing on the rattan 
rings which encircle the body of the 
quiver, but that now "the Malay 
cement," prepared ''from bufBdo-milk 
and chalk," is substituted. I am unable 
to corroborate this, and it should be 
quite unnecessary, as the wedging, to 


Blowpipe and Quiver— first type. 

Pahang Jakiin (Kuantan). — Of the blowpipes used 
by the O. Kuantan there appear to be at least two 
types, one of which is the roughest form of blowpipe 
made, and the other resembles that of the aboriginal 
Malayans. The former is described as being made 
from long internodes of the "sfimSliang" ("semi- 
Hang ") bamboo, whose internodes are much shorter 
than those of the Bambusa Wrayi (" buluh tSmiang "). 
The internal tube, therefore, is made in two lengths, 
which are joined by means of an outer tube or sheath 
which is manufactured from the midrib of the leaf of 
the " langkap " palm, and drawn over them,^ 

When the two abutting ends have been fitted 
together, a piece of rag (formerly, it is said, it was a 
ligature of plant-fibre) is smeared with heated resin 
and wrapped first round the end, the wrapping being 
coated over with a thin layer of gutta-percha, which is 
melted by turning it round a firebrand. The mouth- 
piece is also made of {jsic, ? covered with) gutta-percha 
instead of the more usual material, wood.^ 

These blowpipes are the least effective of all 
those known in the Peninsula, and cannot propel a 
dart above forty paces. They are little used, and are, 
according to Vaughan-Stevens, hidden inside the 
stems of living bamboos, the nodes of which have 
been knocked out. Vaughan-Stevens was only able 
to obtain four.* 

The bamboo internode from which the quiver of 

which V. -St. himself makes reference, is ployed by the O. Kuantan is '*damar 

a much simpler method of tightening tooyoom" (Vaughan-Stevens, ii, 113). 
these rings. ' Cp. Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 112. 

One of the kinds of resin thus em- * /did. ' /did. 


the O. Kuantan is manufactured is not slowly dried 
like that of the Benua-Jakun, and hence the rings 
round it work loose and require to be tightened by- 
wedges. The cap is made by the women of woven 
(and untrimmed) pandanus-leaf (/^. furcatus). The 
waist-cord, which is made of ** akar dow " (? " dauk *') 
has no buckle, but a knot at the cord-end, and its 
decoration is peculiar to itself. The interior of the 
quiver is only fitted with a small reed-bundle, room 
being left, whenever it is used, for the insertion of 
the bamboo poison-holder. At the bottom of the 
quiver a little resin ("tuyum'') is kept (as among 
the Mantra) and used for making fast the butt-ends 
of the darts. The arrows, which are made of the 
leaf-stem of the ** langkap " palm, are very roughly 
made, and are frequently used, without poison, for 
killing small birds, and only rarely for killing apes, 
when poison is obtainable. Their length is "from 
elbow to wrist," but they are often shorter.* 

Not more than one out of every five or six of the 
O. Kuantan possesses poison at all, and that which he 
has is frequently compounded out of ingredients which 
are quite harmless.* 

Blowpipe and Quiver — second type. 

The second type of blowpipe used by the Orang 
Kuantan appears to be peculiar to the Jakun or 
savage Malayan race. A specimen of this rare and 
interesting blowpipe, which has been presented to 
the Ethnological Department of the British Museum 
by a member of the Malay States Service, was de- 

^ Cp. Vaughan • Stevens, ii. 113, end is said to be the combined breaddi 
The breadth (sic^ ? length) of the butt- of the first two fingers. ^ Ibid, 


scribed in i?/a«,' whence the following description by the 
present author has, with slight alteration, been drawn : — 
Mr. F. W. Douglas, of the Malay States Service, 
obtained this blowpipe on the east coast of the Malay 
Peninsula in the Kuantan district of Pahang, during 
October 1897, from a man belonging to one of the 
jungle-tribes dwelling on the borders of Pahang and 
Kemaman. Its measurements are as follows : — 

Total length (over-all) . . 5 ft. 2 in. (157 cm.) 

Interior diameter at mouthpiece ^ in. (10.9 mm.) 
Interior diameter at muzzle-end § in. (9.37 mm.) 

Hence the bore of the tube at the muzzle-end is 
a fraction less than it is at the mouthpiece, so that we 
have here an instance of a wooden blowpipe imitating 
the natural proportions that obtain in the original 
bamboo blowpipe, from which it was copied ; for in 
the bamboo blowpipe it is always the root-end which 
is placed nearest the mouth, so that the bore at the 
muzzle -end is generally a fraction less than at the 
mouthpiece ; in other words, this blowpipe, like its 
bamboo original, has a slight " choke " in the bore.* 

The illustrations here given are full-size. They 
show the muzzle -end and the mouthpiece in two 
positions, the mouthpiece having been chipped in 
transit. I had it photographed to show the binding 
before it was mended.® 

This particular blowpipe is made of some very 
hard wood, probably of **p6naga" {Calophyllum). 
The cylinder is carefully split down the middle and 
the two halves grooved on the inner side throughout 
their entire length, so that when fitted together again 
they form a perfect tube. This tube, which forms 

> Skeat in Ma*t, No. 108 of 1902. ^ lb. ^ lb. 


the blowpipe, is bound round from end to end with a 
long thin strip of some kind of cane {Calantus)y over 
which is deposited a thick incrustation of a gutta-like 
substance, the object of which is evidently to protect the 
bands and prevent them from being loosened, as well 
as to hermetically close any cracks that might otherwise 
permit the passage of air. The thickness of this deposit 
is increased to about |^ in. (1.2 cm.) at the mouthpiece.^ 

In Vaughan - Stevens (ed. Grlinwedel)* a very 
similar blowpipe (collected among the " Benua " or 
Jakun of East Johor) is described. It is not abso- 
lutely identical with Mr. Douglas's specimen, since 
it is longer (by about nine inches), and its two half- 
cylinders of ** p€n3Lg&" wood are protected by a bam- 
boo casing. Mr. Douglas's specimen, on the other 
hand, corresponds with remarkable fidelity to a Per- 
uvian blowpipe, described in the second volume of 
Reiss und Stuebel's Kultur und Industrie sUdameri- 
kaniscker Volker. This Peruvian specimen came 
from the Huallaya river, and was described as con- 
sisting of "the two halves of a palm-stem carefully 
grooved and fitted together and bound round with 
9ipo, which was covered besides with a layer of black 
wax. It was fitted with a short bone mouthpiece."' 

The quiver belonging to the blowpipe (also pre- 
sented by Mr. Douglas to the museum) similarly 
presented some new and interesting features : — ^ 

The body of the quiver is made from a bamboo 
internode measuring ii|^ in. (29 cm.) in length, and of 
great diameter (4 in. = 10 cm.). It is covered with a 

^ Skeat, loc, cU, Kuantan, but he cannot say for certain 

' Vaughan -Stevens, iL 102. Mr. whether it is indigenous, or introduced 

G. Pfenningwerth of Kuantan writes me by Dayaks. 

that the "lx)red** blowpipe, resembling * Skeat, loc, cU, Cp. OtisT. Mason, 

that of the Dayaks, is certainly used in Origin of Invention^ p. 208. ^ lb. 


flattish four-peaked cap made of woven pandanus-leaf, 
which is made fast to a double ring of plaited rattan 
or Calamus (which encircles the body of the quiver) 
by means of a short cord of plaited tree-bark {Art(h 
carpus ? or Eugeissona tristis ?). The usual waist- 
cord of twisted tree -bark is attached to the same 
rattan-rings. The exterior of the quiver is decorated 
throughout by the usual incised patterns (which are, how- 
ever, unusually rough and irregularly executed), and 
there are traces of resin at the bottom of the quiver.^ 

The interior is fitted with the usual rolled -up 
reed -bundle, the number of reeds being sixty- five. 
Of these, however, only five contain darts, and there 
is one loose dart of which the butt-end has been lost, 
making six darts in all. All of these darts have 
broken or (as I think more probable) blunt points, and 
have very probably been used for knocking over small 
birds. Only one (the loose one) has traces of a coat- 
ing of poison upon it, and even of this one the extreme 
tip of the point is blunt like the rest.* 

Of the darts the longer ones measure j\ in, (19 cm.) 
in length, and the shorter about 7^ in. ( 1 8 cm.), and their 
butt-ends are made of some very light pith-like wood 
and are of irregular length, two being about i in. (2.5 cm.) 
long, and the other three being only half that length. 
But they are all very incompletely rounded, are all 
cut off square at the lower end, and are all pretty 
much of the same diameter throughout, instead of 
tapering towards the shaft, as is the case with the 
better -made darts used by the Sakai, Besisi, etc. 
Another distinction is that in two of them the upper 
end of the dart-shaft is driven right through the butt- 
end, emerging at its extremity beyond the upper end 

1 Skeat, loc. eiL * Ibid, 


of the butt, a peculiarity which may be seen in the 
blowpipe-darts of Borneo/ 

The only other contents of the quiyer were two 
rolled-up pieces of old chintz doth, and a spear-shaped 
wooden spatula, still coated with poison.^ 

In view of all the evidence, and in spite of slight 
differences, I think there need be no hesitation what- 
ever in identifying both the blowpipe and quiver as a 
variety of the ** Benua-Jakun ** blowpipe and quiver 
which Vaughan-Stevens obtained in the eastern part 
of Johor, in spite of the fact that this specimen was ob- 
tained in Kuantan, north of the Pahang, a fact which 
disagrees with Vaughan-Stevens' own statement to 
the effect that this type of blowpipe is not found (in the 
Malay Peninsula) north of the river in question. This 
particular specimen, at all events, has the additional 
interest of more nearly approaching the blowpipe of Peru 
than any other specimen yet recorded from this part 
of the world — a fact which should be of special interest 
to the students of the problems of distribution.* 

The Blowpipe. 

Benua-Jakun. — One of the Kuantan types of blow- 
pipe is found also among the Benua-Jakun. These 
tribes use a peculiar form of blowpipe, the internal tube 
of which is made in a very primitive feshion, oiwood^ 
though its outer casing is as usual of bamboo. Its 
length and calibre vary with the individual maker.^ 

It is exceedingly rare and hard to obtain, especi- 
ally as it takes sixteen days to make. It is made 
from the wood of the "pgnagi" tree (** pSnaghur/* 
sic), a sapling of which is felled and split through- 
out its entire length. The two halves are then 

> Skeat, loc. at. « Ih, 3 yj, 4 Cp. Favre in Ann, P. F, xxii. 304. 


roughly carved into shape, the flat parts planed 
and fitted tc^ether with a chopping - knife, bound 
round with rattan ** ties '* at intervals, and carefully 
rounded. The "ties" themselves are moved occa- 
sionally, according to necessity, to enable the work 
to be completed. The two halves are ** trued'* by 
wetting one half and then pressing the two together.^ 

Next a broad black line is drawn with charcoal 
down the centre, and the groove cut out with the 
chopper, a quarter of the circumference at a time 
only, to prevent M^arping. The cutting-out process 
is continued until the cleaning-rod (**bingrot") can 
just pass along within the double groove, when the 
two lengths are again bound tc^ether, at short 
intervals, and made fast at one end within a 
movable clamp or vice ("kahon"), the object of 
which is to hold the two divided halves of the tube 
firmly tc^ether and at the same time to keep the blow- 
pipe in position till the binding process is completed.* 

As soon as this process, which is effected with a 
strip of cane (" rotan tunggal ") is over, the mouthpiece 
is made. It is said that this was formerly made of a 
soft wood called " k6l6bok" (" libut "), but it is now 
made of harder wood. The orifice was first bored 
out with a " bone awl " and then gradually enlarged, 
after which the end of the tube was warmed and 
rubbed with resin and the mouthpiece fitted on to it 
and shaped with the chopper. The outer case was 
made of bamboo, the nodes being pushed out (as 
usual) with a long stick. The bamboo was then 
heated over a slow fire and bent downwards with a 
constant pressure, which was applied by means of a pair 
of wooden pincers. This process was repeated about 

^ Vaughan-Stevens, ii^ 102 seqq, ^ lb. 


a dozen times, the object being to make the bamboo 
case soft and yielding. The broken edges of the nodes, 
which still remained inside the bamboo, were removed 
in the ordinary way. The bottom node, however, 
was left until the completion of the following process.^ 
The end of the blowpipe being pushed into the 
bamboo case as far as it will go without forcing, the 
remainder is then driven home by bringing down the 
extremities smartly upon a block of wood. This pro- 
cess is assisted by the warming, and the bottom node 
already mentioned is then cut away. Use is made 
of the long cleaning-rod ("bingrot") to give a 
further polish to the interior of the tube, the thin 
end being first inserted, and then the thicker end, 
with a piece of skate-skin attached. The final polish is 
effected by substituting the leaves of the " mamp'las " 
for the skate-skin, this part of the process alone taking 
two or three days to complete. The mouthpiece is then 
made out of soft wood smoothened and coated over 
with a layer of gutta-percha to give it more durability. 
A small hole is made in the centre of the node (at the 
lower end) to let the air in, and the shaft is softened by 
steaming and straightened by eye. When the node is 
finally excised, a rod with twisted bamboo shavings 
attached to it is pushed down inside the tube, and 
worked to and fro to clear away the remains of the 
node.^ y 

The Darts and the Quiver. ^ 

The darts, which measure from " breast to breast " 

(of the maker), are described as being manufactured 

from the hard outer cuticle of a palm called " krSdok " 

{Cyrtostachis laca)} Each of the spaces between 

^ V.-St. ii. 103 seqg. ^ lb, dnlcis) is also said to be used by the 

' The wood of tafMOca {Manihot Benua. — Vaughan-Stevens, iL 106. 




the knots furnished on an average forty arrows, a 
single day's work for their maker. These arrows 
are dried for a long time and kept in reserve, as they 
are seldom used twice.^ When bent or warped, the 
dart-shaft was straightened by hand over a fire.* 
They are often used unpoisoned, without nicks.' 

The quiver of these Benua tribes is made from 
part of an intemode of the large bamboo, which is cut 
when green, filled with wet clay, and exposed to 
gentle heat. As the clay dries, the bamboo is gradu- 
ally moved further from the fire, the process often 
taking several weeks to complete, though when once 
completed it effectually prevents the bamboo from 
Mrarping. After the first heating it is wrapped in 
bark to protect it from the smoke of the hearth-fire, 
and thus gradually obtains its golden-yellow colour. 
The cap, which is made by the women, is of woven 
**nipah" or pandanus-leaves. The quiver itself is 
fitted with reeds as usual, and the waist-cord is of 
" t'rap " bark, with buckle of wood, bone, tortoise- 
shell, or even cash. It is quite plain and undecorated.* 

An elaborate system of marking the darts, in 
order to distinguish the several strengths of the 
poison, was employed by these tribes, as follows : — ^ 


Nature of Quarry. 

lATge birds 

Squirrels {i,e, small 

Civet • cats (medium- 
sized mammals) 

Apes (large mammals) 

Strength of Poison. 

Ipoh {Aniiaris) only. 
Ipoh + fish-** stings. " 

Ipoh + fish-** stings " -f centipedes. 

Ipoh -h fish-" stings " + centipedes + 
snake-poison (i.<r. ** full strength " 
of poison). 

' Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 106. 
2 lind, p. 123. Cp. Favre, Ann, 
P, F, xxii. 304, 

3 Ibid, p. 107. 

* Ibid, pp. 104, 105. 

* Ibid. p. 107. 




Unpoisoned arrows (for small birds) were not 
furnished with any distinguishing mark.^ 

The amount of poison * made at a time is sufficient 
for a quiver containing (** nominally ") lOO arrows ; 
this, however, no doubt merely means that the 
poison - makers of these tribes make rather more 
poison at a time than they require to use, since no 
quiver holds anything near the number mentioned.' 

^ Vanghan-Stevens, ii. 107. 

^ lb. There is nothing special to note 
as regards this poison, for which see App. 

^ The following account of the 
preparation of the poison of the 
Benua is from Newbold : — "The 
Benua employ three preparations of the 
Ipoh or Upas poison to tip their arrows 
with, these three kinds being distin- 
guished by the names <Ipoh krohi,' 

* Ipoh tennik ' or * kennik,' and 

* Ipoh mallaye.' 

"The *kTohi* is extracted from the 
root and bark of the Ipoh tree, the 
roots of the • tuba * and « kopah,' red 
arsenic, and the juice of limes. 
The 'tennik' is made in the same 
manner as the < krohi,' leaving out the 

* kopah ' root. The * mallaye * poison, 
which is accounted the most potent of 
the three, is prepared from the roots of 
the «tuba,' the 'perachi,' the 'kopah,' 
and the * chey ' ; and from that of the 
shrub * mallaye ' ; hence its name. 

"The process of concocting these 
preparations is as follows : — The roots 
are carefully selected and cut at a 
particular age of the moon ; probably 
about the full. The woody fibre is 
thrown away, and nothing but the 
succulent bark used. This is put into 
a 'kuali' (a sort of earthen pipkin), 
with as much soft water as will cover 
the mass, and kneaded well together. 
This done, more water is added, and 
the whole is submitted to a slow heat 
over a charcoal fire until half the water 
hat evaporated. The decoction is 
next strained through a cotton cloth, 
and again submitted to slow ebullition 
until it attains the consistency of s]nrup. 
Red arsenic ('vraurangan'), which is 

rubbed down in the juice of the sour 
lime, the Mimau asam' of the Malays, 
is then added, and the mixture poured 
into small bamboos, which are care> 
fully dosed up ready for use. Some 
of the tribes add a little opium, spices, 
and saffron ; some, the juice of the 
lancha, and the bones of the songggt- 
fish burnt to ashes. 

" A number of juggling incantations 
are performed, and spells gibbered 
over the seething caldron by the Poy- 
angs, by whom the fended moment of 
the projection of the poisonous prin- 
dple is as anxiously watched for as 
that of the philosopher's stone or the 
elixir vitae by the alchemists and philo- 
sophers of more enlightened races. 
When recently prepared the Ipoh 
poisons are all of a dark liver-brown 
colour, of the consistency of s]^up, and 
emit a strongly narcotic odour. The 
deleterious prindple appears to be 
volatile, as the efficacy of the poison is 
diminished by keeping " (Newbold, ii. 
pp. 400, 401). 

Newbold further mentions — as the 
only antidote of which the Benuas 
could tell him — the fresh sap of a 
shrub called "lemak kipiting" 
(" Lemmah kopiting " ; lit. = " crab's- 
fat "), rubbed round and into the 
wound, and afterwards over the limb 
in which the puncture has been made. 
— Newbold, ii. 402. 

[For identifications, v. pp. 3 1 8, 319, 
ante^ and App. " Krohi " stands for 
"kroi" in the Besisi dialect, "tennik" 
for "tenet," "mallaye" for "malai'* 
( = "Blay" of Vaughan - Stevens, ?), 
"Perachi" for "pftrachek" (or 
"Perachet"), and "chey" for Bes. 


The Blowpipe. 

Jakun of Berembun. — All the Berembun tribes 
(visited by Logan) used the blowpipe and poisoned 
darts. The former was a light and neat instrument, 
and differed from the " bored " wooden blowpipe of 
the Dayaks. That of the Berembun tribes consisted 
of two bamboos about 7 ft. (2.13 m.) in length, the one 
enclosed within the other, the external one being about 
three-fourths of an inch (19 mm.) in diameter, and 
neatly decorated for about i ft. (91 cm.) in the centre 
and at each extremity. To prevent it from splitting, 
the fibrous bark of the Artocarpus was bound around 
6 in. (45 cm.) of the extremity and coated with resin 
("dammar"). The internal tube was of the same 
length as the case, but its "bore" measured only 
three-fifths of an inch (15 mm.). It was composed of 
two pieces of bamboo, united by a splicing-piece 8 in. 
(20 cm.) long, which embraced both ends tightly at 
the point of junction. The bamboo used in the manu- 
facture of this blowpipe (" buluh tfimiang ") was very 
light and finely grained.^ 

The darts (" damak ") were made from the stem 
of the bSrtam-palm leaf. They measured 10 in. (25 
cm.) in length, and ^ in. (1.5 mm.) in diameter at 

**ches'*or "cheh"(Mal. "ipoh"). "Ko- the milky sap drawn from the stem of 

y^^^=z}Carapamal€ucenns,\AxX."\miQ}X Antiaris that is generally employed, 

asam " = the lime (Mai. *< Limau asam"). Of the thin poison mentioned by New- 

Newbold (/.^.)disdDgaishes three kinds bold, <<Ipoh malai" (or "mallaye"), 

of poison in the Malay Peninsula : which is the root of a West Indian 

(I) «*Ipoh kroi" ("krohi**), (2) " Ipoh plant {Thevetiamrii/olia, Juss., Apocy- 

tenet" (<*tenni"),and (3) **Ipoh malai" naeea), is said to be the foundation. — 

(« mallaye "), of which the first two are See Geiger, p, 20.] 

(bonded upon the root and bark of the ^ /. 7. A. voL L p. 272. From the 

Ipoh tree. Newbold seems, however, to foregoing account it is probable that 

have confused'* Ipoh akar" (5^rAff^i) the Berembun blowpipe belonged to 

with *< Ipoh batang " {Antiaris), for it is the Sakai type. 


the base, from which they gradually tapered to a very 
fine and sharp point. The base was inserted into a 
conical butt-end of ** kayu tutu " ^ (which is very porous 
and light), the dart there measuring about i in. (25 mm.) 
in length and one-third of an inch (8 mm.) in diameter. 
The points of the dart had been dipped for about five- 
sixths (21 mm.) of an inch in Ipoh poison. This latter 
is made by taking the sap of the Upas creeper, the 
Upas tree (or ** kyas "),^ " tuba," and limes, which are 
then bruised, boiled, and strained. Arsenic is added, 
and other substances, such as " pachet," * " jimardes," * 
"malai," and "gadong," are also sometimes added as 
well. The liquid, which is called " ipoh," having been 
thus prepared, has the colour and consistency of 
prepared opium ("chandu"). An incision is made 
round the point of the dart just above the poison to 
ensure its breaking off and remaining in the wound.* 

Each dart is kept (ready for immediate service) in a 
reed or case of bamboo, the diameter of which is about 
one-fourth of an inch (6 mm.). Fifty of these reeds 
are laid side by side and united by strings. They are 
then rolled up and inserted into a large quiver, which 
is also made of bamboo, and which has a neat lid made 
from the wood of the **jelotong." This quiver con- 
tains, in addition, a quantity of the wadding (" barok "), 
which is of a very light, spongy character, and is 
also used as tinder, which these tribes extract from a 
tree called **runut."^ When the dart has been inserted 
into the blowpipe a little " barok " is introduced behind 
it. When the operator blows into the blowpipe, this 
substance is pressed against the butt-end of the dart, 

^ SiCy} ^*\Mio\i'' = Hibiscus macro- * Sic } Unidentified. 

phyllus. 5 y; /, ^^ vol i. p. 272 seqq, 

2 "Kyas" = **kayas"("ipohkayu"). « SU, ? «'rengut" 
-3 Sicy ? " pdrachet," jr.«/. 


and effectually prevents windage. In shooting, the 
blowpipe is firmly held by both hands, which are lightly 
clasped over the near extremity of the tube, which in 
turn is firmly inserted into the mouthpiece, which thus 
serves as a species of handle.^ 


Udai. — The Udai use sharpened palm - wood 
("nibong") stakes, hardened with fire at the end, as 
spears, as well as the blowpipe with poisoned darts.* 

Orang Laut or Sea-Jakun. 
Weapons and Implements, 

0. Laut, Sletar. — The Sletar tribe of the Orang 
Laut are described as possessing no weapons, whether 
for offence or defence. 

In the same passage, however, we are told that 
they do employ a form of fish-spear called " sfirkap," 
as well as the Malay ** parang " or chopper (which, of 
course, may on occasion be used either as a defensive 
or offensive weapon).^ 

0. Laut, Sabimba. — The Sabimba use a Dayak 
blowpipe, which is also armed with a spear -head, 
bayonet fashion. It is curious, says Logan, that this 
weapon has been imported for the Sabimba from time 
immemorial, and that they have not acquired the art 
of manufacturing their blowpipes from bamboo like 
the Berembuns. The Bornean sumpitan, adds Logan 
(evidently by way of distinction), is artificially bored.* 

1 y. /. A, vol. i. pp. 272, 27 3. The of the Keratong and Jekati.— /. R. A. S.y 

blowpipe is not used by the Jakan of S, A, No. 25, p. 3 ; No. 26, p. 14. 
Ulu Endau, Ula Sembrong, and Ka- * Newbold, iL 381, 382. 

hang, though it is by their neighbours ' J, I. A, vol. i. p. 342*. * lb. 297. 


It is most unfortunate that this account is so 
meagre, but a contemporary account by Mr. Thompson 
adds a few more scattered facts. He describes the 
Sabimba as hunting the wild hog by the aid of their 
dogs, and as feeding on monkeys, snakes, apes, etc. 
** Their blowpipe is the same as that used by the Dayaks 
of Sambas in Borneo, from whence it is imported to 
Singapore, and from thence finds its way to the 
Tembrau, the river on which they are now located. 
The dart of this blowpipe is delicately fashioned, but the 
Sabimba make a ruder description themselves. The 
darts are poisoned with the juice of the Upas tree, which 
is called *ipoh.'" The admission that the Sabimba 
make a ruder sort of dart themselves, tallies entirely 
with what we find to be the case among many of those 
tribes who are in the habit of employing not only 
their own weapons, but those of their neighbours in 
the chase, no doubt in hopes that the latter would 
bring them better luck. It would be interesting to 
know what proof there was that the blowpipes resem- 
bling those of the Dayaks at Sambas were borrowed.^ 

0. Laut, Huka Kuning. — With the help of dogs, the 
blowpipe, a kind of palm-wood spear (the " s^ligi " or 
** spear of nibong "), the axe, the hatchet, and the 
knife, the O. Muka Kuning procure their ordinary- 
food in the forest, together with rattans, resin or 
'* dammar," and eagle-wood, which they barter for rice, 
cloth, implements, tobacco, and salt.^ 

The Bow. 

0. Laut, Temlang. — The following reference to a 
form of arrow-release attributed to a less-known sea- 

* To me the statement is most milikely. J, I, A, vol. i. pp. 347*, 348*. 
« Ibid. p. 337* 


tribe is, so far as I have been able to discover, 
unique : the bow (of the Temiang) was held in a 
horizontal position (a hole being made in the centre 
of the bow, through which the arrow passed), the 
three fingers bent over the string, and the arrow 
held between the first and second fingers, the thumb 
straightened, and the little finger partially straight- 

1 Essex Inst, BulL vol. xvii. Oct -Dec. p. 21 of short copy. Sec, however, 
remarks on p. 253, ante. The entire passage wants corroboration. 




The most primitive form of horticulture (if so it can 
be called) employed by these tribes arises from the 
throwing away of the seeds of fruit that they have 
eaten in the jungle. A Malay chief of Selangor 
informed me that the Besisi were originally in the 
habit of eating the fruits of the jungle in a small 
shelter built upon the spot where they had been 
gathered, but on its being pointed out that this 
practice resulted in a superfluous number of fruit-trees 
all growing in the same spot, the whole tribe took to 
carrying their fruit to a little distance before eating 
it, and afterwards removed during the fruit season 
to a fresh spot every year, in order to spread the 
seeds over a wider region of. the country. 

On the other hand, fruit-seeds or seedlings were 
certainly planted by the aborigines from time to time 
among the catch-crops in their clearings, and the 
ground round the trees that were in bearing was 
regularly cleared (about once a year) of undergrowth. 
This, however, was probably intended rather to 
facilitate the collection of the fruit than with any idea 
of improving the fruit-bearing capacity of the tree. 

For the latter purpose magic was more frequently 


Jaklx walking ri* a Tkek, Ui.u Batu, Sklangor 


I'oi. I. p. 333. 


Sakai Trke-Fellinc; : One Man (on Staging) starting Work, the Other 
(on the Left) climbing up to assist him. 

I 'o/. r. /. 339. 


employed, though it is true that various ingenious 
devices were adopted for the purpose of scaring away 
wild animals (such as monkeys, squirrels, bear-cats, 
and civet-cats) which were certain to assemble to feast 
upon the fruit. 

Amongst the animals that were fond of the 
durian, bears and tigers were always especially men- 
tioned, it being asserted that these animals were in 
the habit of tearing open the huge, green, spiky fallen 
fruit by inserting their sharp claws into the divisions 
of its thick rind, and feasting upon the creamy 
pulp that envelops the seeds within. Whether this 
be so or not, it is certain that both bears and tigers 
are frequently met with in the neighbourhood of the5e 
durian groves, and that not a few of the aborigines 
have lost their lives through being attacked either in 
or near the tiny huts or shelters that are built under 
the durian trees, during the fruit season, for the 
watchers. I may add that the number and variety of 
wild fruits eaten by the aborigines were far in advance 
of those eaten by the Malays. 

All the aborigines are adepts at tree-felling, at 
which even the Malays cannot beat them. Standing 
on a lofty platform made of a few crossed sticks, 
they cut the stem through at the point where the 
buttresses spring from the trunk. They never 
seem to miss their stroke even by a hair's-breadth, 
the cutting being so cleanly done that the top of the 
stump often looks as smooth as a billiard-table, a great 
contrast to the roughly cut stumps left by some 
Malays and most Chinese. In the southern districts 
of Selangor the Jakun, who did a good deal of felling 
for the Protectorate Government, proved cheap and 
excellent workers, though they required management, 

340 CULTIVATION part ii 

as they would never work unless they were in a 
humour to do so. Their favourite method of felling, 
when a large area had to be cleared, was to select 
a tree of the largest size, and then to fell it in 
a particular direction so as to bring down with it a 
number of smaller trees in its fall. 

In the earliest stages of cultivation, the first kind 
of grain to be planted by the aborigines is a kind of 
Chinese millet, which is grown together with a few 
light catch-crops, more especially by tribes living 
among the hills of the Peninsula at a considerable alti- 
tude. The last mode of cultivation introduced is 
usually rice, and even when this latter is cultivated, it 
is generally on so small a scale and with such hopelessly 
inadequate implements, that it could hardly be ex- 
pected (when the various " enemies *' of the rice had 
taken their toll) that there would be any substantial 
harvest left to gather. 

Magic rites play a large part in the rice-planting 
customs of the Sakai and the Jakun, but less so, I 
believe, in those of the Semang, who seem to be less 
superstitious than their neighbours. 

Mr. Blagden has shown that there are several non- 
Malay aboriginal names for rice in the Peninsula, and 
this fact, coupled with the existence of varieties of the 
grain special to the aborigines, and with the generally 
aboriginal character of the harvest -rites, argues 
against such words being borrowed by the civilised 
(Mohammedan) Malays. The line between pagan 
and Mohammedan Malay is drawn at irrigation. 

The fact that there have been cases in which the 
Jakun have taken even to the cultivation of coffee 
shows, however, that they are by no means incapable 
of improvement. 


I. — Semang. 

Kedah Semang and Pangan. — The wildest Semang 
tribes do not eat rice, except when they may have suc- 
ceeded in obtaining a scanty supply through the medium 
of other Semang more conversant with Malays. 

They live, in fact, for the most part upon roots, 
eked out by the trophies of their skill in hunting and 
fishing, together with the wild fruits of the jungle as 
they come in season. 

The Semang, who have reached the first and most 
rudimentary stage of agriculture, plant by way of a 
substitute for rice a species of Chinese millet (" sSkoi ") 
which is called in Malay " cat's - tail " (** ekor 
kuching"), and which is perhaps selected from its 
flourishing better than rice on the higher ranges. 

The fact of these tribes being millet -eaters, of 
which I was first informed by the Semang of Kedah, 
I subsequently found had been already recorded by De 
Morgan and several other writers. It is, of course, 
conceivable that the fact of their being eaters of millet 
may have given the nickname of " Orang Sekoi," or 
" Millet-men," to the tribes who bear it. But on the 
other hand the name might quite as easily have been 
derived from some small stream or river (Sungei 
Sekoi), since on the whole this is the more usual 
method by which these tribes get their names. 

In the next stage of development (in which the 
Negritos are still semi- nomadic, and migrate from 
one district to another as soon as their scanty crop is 
harvested) they actually begin to grow rice in a primi- 
tive fashion, as well as a few catch-crops, such as 
bananas, sugar-cane, tapioca, maize, and sweet potatoes, 


all, however, with a minimum expenditure of time and 
trouble. The rice that they grow, at this stage, is 
always "hill-rice" (Mai. "huma"), a fresh plot of 
forest-ground (usually the sloping side of a hill) 
being selected and cleared annually. The branches 
are then lopped off from the fallen trees, the cUbris is 
burnt, and the rice sown in the interstices between 
the remaining tree-stumps, this latter process always 
necessarily taking place during the more rainy season. 

A good instance of this culture of ** hill-rice " was 
to be seen at Siong (in Kedah), where the Semang 
had cleared a great part of the slope of Bukit TSmSsu, 
and planted it with rice and the light catch -crops 
mentioned in the foregoing list, with the exception, 
however, of tapioca, which, for some reason unknown 
to me, they did not plant. 

At the time of my arrival their scanty stock of rice, 
which was of very poor quality, had all been harvested, 
and they had stored it in a tiny hut or barn, built 
upon very high posts and no bigger than a box 
(4 feet by 4 feet), in order to remove its precious 
contents beyond the reach of small mammals. 

Perak Semang. — These remarks apply equally to 
the Semang of Perak. 

II. — Sakai. 


Perak SakaL — The Sakai method of gathering 
wild tree-fruit is to climb the trees in which ripe fruit has 
been seen, and then to lop off the fruit-laden boughs, 
so that the fruit itself may be picked off the boughs 
(as they lie on the ground) and eaten at leisure.^ 

^ De Morgan, viii. 284. This method b also practised by the Malays. 



The Hill Sakai (Sakai Bukit) are said to practise 
no form of agriculture ; but those who have reached 
the earliest stage of it are described as cultivating 
the species of Chinese millet called " sSkoi " (or " ekor 
kuching ") already mentioned.^ Mr. L. Wray saw a 
field of this millet grown at an altitude of 2400 ft. (730 
m.) in Perak, and remarks that this form of grain is 
grown largely by the Sakai, both in the hills of N. Perak 
and of the Plus district, but that no rice was grown 
there, and that their staple food appeared to be tapioca.* 

Mr. Wray adds that they also grew sweet potatoes, 
sugar-cane, pumpkins, and tobacco, but no fruit, except 
in the settlements near Malay villages." 

Elsewhere the Perak Sakai are described as 
planting not only the crops already named, but maize 
and yams, etc., etc.^ 

According to Col. Low and De Morgan, the Sakai 
make no sort of use of ploughing or harrowing 
implements, but content themselves with making holes 
in the ground with a pointed stick, in the open spaces 
between the roots and tree-stumps,* to contain the rice- 
seed which is dropped into them. 

De la Croix, in describing the Sakai village of 
Kampong Chabang, on the upper waters of S. Kerbu 
(a tributary of the Plus river in Upper Perak), gives 
a graphic description of one of these aboriginal 
clearings, stating that the jungle had been cleared 
for an area of about five acres {deux hectares), and 

1 De la Croix, p. 340. Sed v. p. * Ibid. 

340, €mie, ♦ /. /. A. vol. iv. p. 429 ; and cp. 

« Wray in /. R, A. S., S.B„ No. Hale, p. 294. 

a I, p. 163. For illustrations of clear- * Low,/. /. A, vol. iv. pp. 429, 430; 

ings, q). VHomnu, il 642, 643. q). De Morgan, vii. 423; VH, iL 611. 

544 CULTIVATION part ii 

great trees lay on all sides, the open spaces between 
them being planted with rice. Here and there were 
upright posts from which were suspended pieces of 
bamboo which sounded as the wind shook them. 
These were scarecrows designed for driving away the 
crowds of birds which came to rob the rice-fields. 
When the wind was not strong enough to move these 
scarecrows, the aborigines did so themselves by means 
of an arrangement of cords or creepers, all of which con- 
verged towards a small shelter in the centre, wherein 
a watchman was always posted. It looked not unlike a 
network of telegraph lines. The same apparatus was 
used for scaring away wild elephants, which were a 
veritable scourge to plantations in the jungle.^ 

Vaughan-Stevens, in giving a very long and full 
account of rice-planting as practised by the Sakai,^ 
made out five main divisions of their agricultural 
work — felling, burning, sowing, reaping, and the offer- 
ing of first-fruits. To commence, he stated that as a 
rule only one harvest was obtained, unless the soil was 
exceptionally rich, when two harvests might possibly 
be obtained. Hence it was the most usual thing for 
the clearing to be deserted as soon as the harvest had 
been reaped. The patch of forest which happened to 
be selected was cleared during the prevalence of the 
drier season, by means of the hatchet and the chopper,* 
A favourite method of felling was to cut a number 
of small trees half-way through, and then to fell a 

^ De la Croix, p. 323 (1882). This ^ Called by Vaughan-Stevens 
method is common among the Malays, Blandas, though, as has already been 
but as Mr. Blagden shows, the abori- explained, Vaughan-Stevens almost in- 
gines themselves may have grown rude variably employed this term for what 
crops. Wray {Per, Mus. N, iii. pp. 29- are throughout this book called Sakai. 
30) gives two kinds of rice, ** Padi Mr. Bladen, however, from internal 
Sakai " and « Padi Si Antah," both linguistic evidence, attributes this parti- 
described as varieties grown only by cular account to the Mantra of Malacca, 
the Sakai. 3 Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 146. 

2?^ Morg^aH. 

Sakai Plantations near the Hkad-waters of the Riykr Kampar (Perak), 


Vol. I. p. 344 

Aboriginal Hill Clkaring, with Huts, Ulu Batu, Sklangor. 

Aboriginal Hill Clkaring, with mixkd Cultivation (Tapioca and 
Bananas), Ulu Batu, Sklangor. 
Vol. A A 345. 


bigger one in such a way that it brought them all 
down in its fall. 

The felled timber, after being left to dry for a few 
weeks, was then set on fire, and with the exception of 
some of the thicker stumps soon burnt to ashes. In 
the spaces between these stumps the padi was planted, 
just before the commencement of the wet season. 
Before felling, however, all tools, whether choppers or 
hatchets, had to be charmed to avoid accidents which 
might be brought about by evil spirits. Women and 
children, on such occasions, were not allowed to be 
present on account of the dangers that they might 
incur. In every village there was generally at least one 
man — perhaps several — who knew these charms. At 
the present day the Penglima or village chief was as 
a rule the only one who knew them, for since the 
wizards had died out, any one who knew the charm 
could work it. 

The actual process was as follows : — 

Two forked uprights (of no stipulated size or 
material) were planted vertically in the ground (a few 
feet apart) and supported a horizontal pole running east 
and west. The handle or helve of a hatchet was then 
suspended from the pole, and just underneath it were 
planted a branch (of some kind of forest tree) and a 
young shoot of " bunglei." To these were added a 
half coconut-shell filled with earth, which served as a 
censer (** sangkun "), a chopper, to be deposited on 
the ground beneath the pole, and the blade of the 
hatchet whose helve was suspended as described. The 
ceremony commenced at sunrise, when the saplings 
were cut and erected as related above.^ 

The magician then strewed incense (benzoin) over 

^ Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 146. 

346 CUL TIVA TION part ii 

the embers, and facing the rising sun, knocked the 
blade out of the hatchet-helve, and suspended the 
latter as described. Next he deposited the chopper 
and hatchet-blade, and picking them up again and 
crossing his hands in the smoke, described seven 
successive circles in the smoke, calling aloud seven 
times in succession as he did so. 

He then repeated the following charm : — 

** O Spirits of every Hill-locked Basin, return ye 
and seek the Spectral Huntsman. It is my desire to 
open up this clearing. O ye Four (great) Magicians, 
unto all Four of you I prefer my request. It is my 
desire to open up this clearing. Grant me coolness 
of body, and do me no harm nor scaith, but grant me 
coolness and coldness within this body of mine." 

The harm and scaith referred to included the risk 
of being crushed by falling trees, of falls, and of 
accidental wounds inflicted by the implements used by 
the operator ; as well as the attacks of wild beasts, 
and fever. 

When the charm was completed the hatchet-head 
was re-inserted in its helve and (along with the 
chopper) returned to its owner. A first clearing was 
then made, in the usual way, round the middle point 
of a circle which was about twelve yards in diameter. 
The chopper and hatchet were then turned seven 
times round in the smoke in strict silence, after which 
every one returned home. The owner of the tools 
commenced his work on the following day. To the 
foregoing should be added that the charm had to be 
said for each of the tools separately.^ 

The burning ceremony took place as soon as the 
felled timber was dry enough. Men, women., and 

' Vaughan-Stcvens, il 147, 148. 


children gathered together at mid-day in an open 
space on the sheltered side of the clearing. Here the 
censer was set up, and its smoke used to fumigate a 
half coconut-shell filled with coconut-oil. Before the 
latter was poured into the shell two or three polishing 
leaves (of the " akar simplas ") were put into it. The 
oil was called " minyak b'rangsang." ^ 

The magician next turned his face towards the 
east, lifted the shell full of oil to his lips and repeated 
this charm : — 

" O Lightning, in Heaven and on Earth, I desire 
to give scope to the rage of Fire. I desire to burn off 
this clearing. I desire to summon the Four (great) 
Magicians. I desire to summon the winds from their 
seven coigns, the seven winds of equal rank, and to 
summon the whirlwind." ^ 

After this charm was spoken each took up his tree- 
bark torch from the heap in which they had been 
deposited and dipped the end of it into the oil in the 
shell (which the magician had replaced on the ground). 
The women and children did likewise. Each 
individual then handed his torch to the magician, who 
alone might kindle it (by means of the embers in the 
censer). The company then hastened off in various 
directions, and each of them kindled the fallen timber 
in as many places as possible. This charm was con- 
cluded at noon, as that was the hour by which the 
leaves and twigs would all be well dried by the hot 

After this "burning" ceremony came that for 
planting the rice. When the ground had been 
cleared by the burning of all but the larger trunks it 
was ready, aftfer the first showers of the wet season, 

* Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 148. * lb. pp. 148, 149. ' lb. 


to receive the seed. The men then prepared pointed 
sticks (or dibbles) made from the saplings of a special 
kind of hard-wood tree called " tamun," ^ the bark of 
which was peeled off, and a hollow made at the thicker 
end to receive the seed, which was stored in the huts 
in sacks. 

The magician set out at sunrise for the fields, 
accompanied by all the men, women, and children 
who were going to take part in the sowing. On 
arriving at the first available open space near 
the middle of the field the magician drew a circle 
round himself with a specially made staff, which like 
the other dibbles was made out of " tamun " wood, 
and all the planting-sticks were heaped up inside the 
circle. The whole of the company sat outside the 
circle in a wide irregular ring, forming what is called 
the Rice-bin ('* kepuk*' ).* In the centre the " bunglei " 
plant already mentioned was planted in the ground, 
and near it a branch of the " tamun " tree from which 
the planting-sticks had been made.* 

The " tamun " wood was chosen because the 
" tamun " tree bears its fruits in a ring round the 
base of the trunk at a height of only about 2 dcm. 
from the ground, the object of the planters being 
that the rice should by sympathy flower near the 
ground, as the " tamun *' tree fruits, instead of 
growing long and rank and weedy. So, too, the 
** bunglei " plant was chosen because no animals ate it, 
the hope being that the rice might be similarly spared. 
The censer having been placed near this plant and 
incense burned on it, seven small holes, each about 
an inch deep, were made in the centre of the circle. 

' Mai. **Satambun.'* » MaL "k*pok," a very large circular " rice-bin." 

' Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 149. 




Each individual then brought his planting-stick 
and drove it firmly into the earth, inside the ring 
(" kgpuk "). One of the women's seed-pouches was 
then deposited within the ring and a quantity of rice- 
grains (saved from the first seven ears cut at the last 
year's harvest) ^ were mixed with the seed contained in 
the pouch. A charm was then repeated as follows : — 

** O Dong, Black Princess, who dwellest as a recluse 
{lit. fastest) in the sea for six months (in the year), I 
summon thee to assist me in planting rice, so that 
from a fist-full, from a mere pinch (of seed) may grow 
a hundred-fold, a thousand-fold, a koyan or two." * 

Turning his face to the east, the magician then 
took up the pouch and waved it in a circle seven 
times through the smoke which was still rising from 
the censer, counting aloud as he did so, " One, two, 
three, four, five, six, seven." 

When the charm had been said, a little rice-seed 

1 This is the Rice-soul (or rather its 
embodiment), called in Malay *' anak 
padi'' or the "Rice -baby." See 
Malay Magic^ p. 235 seqq, 

* Vaughan- Stevens explains that 
this little Black sea -Princess (who 
descends with the wet monsoon) had 
the reputation of being able to protect 
the rice- fields if she vrished, against all 
other evil spirits except the " Squinting 
Demon," who was usually more or less 
harmful All evil spirits but the latter 
feared this Princess, who was wont to 
taunt them with the misdeeds they had 
committed during their lifetime, and 
on account of which they had been 
condemned by ** Granny Long-breasts " 
(*< Gendui Lanyut **) to dwell in the sea 
and pass their time in squirting water 
up at the clouds. [The full name of 
this Princess is Putri Sadong. She is 
frequently referred to in the traditions 
of the Malays, who describe her as the 
Princess of the Limestone Caves, and 
as ruling over the wild mountain goats 
(**kambing gurun**). At the same 

time she is usually connected ivith the 
cultivation of rice. See Skeat's Fables 
and Folktales from an Eastern Forest^ 
note to p. 49.] 

On the subject of the Rice -soul, 
Vaughan-Stevens further remarks that 
the rice had a soul which was con- 
demned to wander for three days. 
During these three days and nights the 
body of the rice was exposed, in a way 
Vaughan-Stevens could not make quite 
sure of, to the attacks of evil demons 
which, under cover of darkness, 
approached it in the form of mice. 
But the demons could not break 
through the enchanted ring of plant- 
ing-sticks, nor could they penetrate 
to the inner circle of seven holes in 
which the body of the rice was 

After the third night the "semangat'' 
or soul of the rice returned to its body, 
after which it could take care of itself, 
so that the protection of the planting- 
sticks was no longer needed (Vaughan- 
Stevens, il 151, 152). 

350 CUL TIVA TION part ii 

out of the pouch was dropped into each of the seven 
holes and covered up with earth by the magician, who 
made use of his stick for the purpose. The planting- 
sticks of the company were then waved round seven 
times through the smoke in a circle, the number of the 
completed circles being each time counted aloud by 
the magician. As soon as the planting-sticks had all 
been fumigated, each person took up his own pair, one 
in each hand, and went off with them to the field. 
The women followed, and the pouch was taken as 
well. The whole company now proceeded to plant the 
seed, working in a long line or file, casting the seed 
with one hand and pricking holes with the other. 
The women then divided the rice-seed between them, 
starting with that in the pouch, which must be planted 
first in any case. They next resorted to the main 
stock of seed, all of which they planted, dropping a 
few grains into each hole, and covering them up with 
hand or foot. When the day's work was ended the 
planting-sticks had to be brought back to the place 
where the ceremony was performed and restored to 
their original position. This ceremony had to be 
repeated for three consecutive days, but after that 
they might be deposited anywhere.^ 

To the foregoing I should add that if the planting- 
sticks in the course of the work got clogged together 
with wet earth this might on no account be removed 
by rubbing the stick against a tree, but had to be 
wiped away with the front of the foot. If the stick 
was accidentally knocked against a tree, the mouse- 
demons would hear it, and, joyfully exclaiming, ** Rice- 
planting, rice -planting," set to work to dig up the 

^ Vaugban-Stevens, ii. 150, 151. ^ Ihid, 


As soon as the rice began to ripen, all the men, 
women, and children set to work to drive off the 
birds, apes, elephants, squirrels, and other enemies of 
the rice. A small hut or shelter was built in the 
field ; and part or the whole of each family went to 
live there while the rice was ripening. The reaping 
was done with the same implements as are used by 
the Malays. None of the aborigines could remember 
any other kind being used. In default of the Malay 
reaping-knife ("tuai**), the reaper would pinch off each 
head of rice between finger and thumb. From five 
to twenty ears, on the other hand, according to the 
skill of the reaper, were seized between the finger 
and the thumb and cut off close to the ear when the 
reaping-knife was used, the stalks being left on the 
spot, either to be burnt or to wither. The rice-heads, 
were then collected together, and thrown upon a 
threshing-floor to be separated from the husks. 
Here they were trodden to and fro under foot, 
and the stalk -ends sifted out. The rice required 
for immediate use was then thrown into a massive 
wooden mortar, where it was pounded with a heavy 
pestle, which split the husks, and the husked rice, as 
soon as the husks had been separated from it, was 
then ready for cooking.^ 

Before the commencement of the harvest, how- 
ever, a magic ceremony had to be performed, which 
took place at sunrise. All who were interested in 
the harvest assembled at one of the watchers' huts in 
the rice-fields, and seated themselves in a ring round 
its walls. In the middle of the hut stood a sack filled 
with rice to the brim — an obvious piece of symbolism. 
One of the reaping-knives was then inserted, with the 

i Vaugban-SteTens, ii. 151, 152. 

352 CUL TIVA TION part ii 

pointed end downwards, in the centre of the open 
mouth of the sack of rice, and to the butt-end of its 
(projecting) bamboo handle ; above the iron blade a 
small knob or clot of beeswax ^ was affixed. 

With his face turned to the rising sun, the magician 
now crouched down in front of the sack, and, placing 
his lips close to the knob of beeswax, repeated aloud 
the following charm : — ^ 

" O thou that squintest, turn thy back to* me ; thou 
that art blind, confront me. Lo, I reap the seven 
heads of rice, yea, and take the soul of the rice, and 
bear it back with me to the house." 

The magician then withdrew the reaping-knife 
from the sack's mouth, and proceeding to the circle of 
the seven holes and fastening seven rice-plants (one 
taken from each of the holes) to the upper part of the 
handle of the reaping-knife, turned his face towards 
the rising sun, and (retaining meanwhile the reaping- 
knife with the rice-plants attached) repeated the rest 
of the charm, which consisted merely of the words : 
** I will drive thee out, O Demon, from before me.'' 
At this he applied the edge of the reaping-knife to 
the rice-stalks and cut them through.^ 

The rice-heads being still fastened to the reaping- 
knife, the magician took them back with him to the 

1 Vaaghan-Stevens explains that wax squirrels, etc. The demons soon notice 

was used in order to symbolise the wax- all the unwatched places, whenever 

like nature of fresh rice when boiled. the attention happens to flag, and 

s Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 152. hence great care is taken of the grains 

The squinting demon is represented which contain the soul of the rice, and 

as squinting because the Sakai believe the spirit is so blinded by magic that 

that a man who squints can see further they can be collected together in 

round him than another whose eyes safety. The squinting spirit is always 

are naturally formed. A large rice- spying round the house, and looking out 

field demands ceaseless watchfulness, for a chance of playing off his tricks ; he 

and the eyes of the owner cannot look incites the fowls and dogs to steal food 

round fiu enough to take note of all out ofthehutswhen the master is absent, 

the depredations committed by birds, ^ Vaughan-Stevens, ibid. 

Aboriginal Wome>4 husking Padi (showing End-Vievv of Mortar) 
Ulu Klau, Pahang. 

Vol. I. p. 353. 


hut, and there untying them, wrapped them up in a 
cloth or mat, and deposited them on the top of the 
rice in the second sack. There they had to stay for 
three days, during which time the women alone were 
allowed to cut the rice in the field, after which a 
pause followed until the end of the rice-feast. The 
rice-heads thus collected were husked, but the stalks 
and husks might not be thrown away before the feast 
was over, and were preserved in a basket or sack, which 
was kept in the hut. The rice thus obtained formed 
the portion used for the rice-feast, it being the rule that 
whatever remained over must be divided among the 
guests before they returned home after the banquet.* 
The following up of these three days' reaping by 
the offering to the guests is considered as an act of 
hQspitality on the part of the chief, any omission of it 
being considered ** mean.'* The reasons given to 
Vaughan-Stevens for not throwing away the remains 
of the feast were (i) that the guests might see how 
much had been obtained from the harvest, and assure 
themselves that the host had not kept back any of 
theiihusked rice ; further, it was asserted that the 
Rice-soul, when it returns from its three days' wander- 
ings, is made welcome by means of the feast, and 
also, moreover, fortified by the charms against the 
trouble that might be caused by the demons later 
on. It was asSterted, too, that it would be an insult 
to the Rice-soul if its husk were immediately thrown 
away as worthless ; and hence the husks were pre- 
served in order that the Rice-soul might see them 
upon its return. As soon as it returned, the grain of 
the seven rice-heads was collected together in a cloth 
or sack and hung up in an out-of-the-way place, until it 

^ Vaugfaan-Sterens, it. 152. 
VOL. I 2 A 

354 CULTIVATION part ii 

was time for it to be mixed with the main stock of 
seed. Till then it tpok up its abode in these seven 
ears. To this it was added, that fresh rice when 
boiled possessed a peculiarly pleasant aroma, which 
was not to be obtained from old rice. Hence when 
the guests arrived they would raise the husks to their 
noses and inhale their aroma, as a means of ascertain- 
ing the quality of the harvest ; for, although the rice- 
grains had the same aroma as the husks, it would not 
be seemly to test the grains themselves in this way.^ 

Whilst the women were engaged in reaping the 
rice during the first three days, the men were em- 
ployed in procuring from the forests and streams the 
meat and fish required for the feast. Afterwards, 
however, both sexes took a share in the reaping, since 
the grains fall very easily and quickly out of the ears 
as soon as they are once fully ripe.^ 

After the rice which had been collected during the 
first three days had been husked and prepared, a 
sufficient quantity was cooked for the entertainment 
of the expected guests, the cooking taking place on 
the morning of the fourth day, by which time the 
supplementary dishes that had been procured by the 
men were available.* 

The men now put on their best clothes, and the 
bachelors of the tribe, putting flowers in their head- 
bands, took their blowpipes with them, and prepared 
to lead their guests to the feast-house.* The most 
distinguished guest, i.e. the Batin or one of the 
subordinate chieftains or the magician, was fetched 
last, all the people accompanying him, and the un- 
married men acting as a kind of bodyguard.^ 

* Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 153, 154. 2 /^,vi s Ibid. 

* Le. the "Balai." ^ Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 153, 154. 


As soon as the last guest had arrived, which was 
usually about mid-day, the dishes were placed upon the 
mats. Nowadays the host provides the rice and the 
betel-leaf, and every one who receives the invitation 
gives about ten cents towards the purchase of luxuries. 
Formerly, however, those ten cents were paid in kind, 
and consisted of various supplementary dishes, such as 
fish, game, and vegetables. Waiting on the guests, 
on the other hand, was the duty of the householder 
and his wife and his grown-up daughters.^ 

Before the meal commenced, as soon as the guests 
had chosen their places (the women and children 
sitting tc^ether in one place and the men in another), 
the magician took the censer and dispatched it seven 
times round the circle of guests, who continued to 
pass it round from hand to hand until it returned 
again to the magician, the latter calling out "one, 
two, three^ four," and so forth each time that he 
received it, until the seven circuits were completed. 
These were, however, the only words uttered by the 
magician during the ceremony, and he did not turn in 
any special direction.^ 

When this proceeding was over, the magician 
waved the censer seven times round the reaping- 
knives and the cloth in which the seven rice-heads 
were wrapped, and both of the latter being sus- 
pended from one of the central pillars of the house, 
the censer was simply passed around that pillar. 
Next, the censer was carried round all the rice- 
sacks (which were intended to receive the harvested 
rice), and, lastly, seven times round the cooking-pots, 
which stood apart by themselves. It was then 
deposited at the foot of the pillar at the top of which 

* Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 154. * Ibid, 

356 CULTIVATION part ii 

were suspended the Rice-soul and the reaping-knives. 
The magician next took a few boiled rice -grains 
and laid some of them on the heads of each of the 
children present, in order that they might always 
remember when they were older how to prepare rice 
for their children. This completed the ceremony, and 
the actual feast then began. ^ 

After the meal the guests washed their hands in 
the water which had been placed in coconut -shells 
for every one to quench his thirst. And when they 
had all washed, each person present greeted the others 
of his (or her) sex in turn, stretching out the hand 
without rising. Betel-leaf was then brought forward 
and handed round, the host and his wife meanwhile 
taking their own share of the repast in a corner of 
the hut. When they had finished their meal, they 
too greeted each of the guests in the same way, and 
each guest, after responding, had to come forward again 
and return the greeting of the host. Meanwhile the 
wife of the host, on her own account, exchanged 
greetings with the other women. The incense was 
now removed from the censer and the smoking shell 
offered by the magician once to every adult. When 
he had received it back, he passed it once more seven 
times round the pillar on which the Rice -soul was 
hung, and then deposited it on the ground at the foot 
of the pillar. The unboiled rice which remained over 
from the three days' harvest was equally divided 
among all the guests ; but the boiled rice which had 
not been eaten at the feast was the magician's own 

The guests who lived at a distance now took their 
leave, and as before were accompanied on their way 

^ Vaughan-Stevens, U. 154, 155. ^ Ibid. 


by the owners of the rice-field. Before they departed 
the women alone greeted the host seven times. The 
host, however, was not permitted to accompany any 
of them to their homes until his most distinguished 
guest had departed.^ 

The wife of the host, although she sat near him, 
received no greeting, except a quite informal one 
from some of her special friends. All the guests left 
the house in time to reach their dwellings before 


Selangor Sakai. — Of the devices employed by the 
Sakai of Selangor for scaring the monkeys away from 
their fruit-trees, an official in Selangor, some years 
back, observed one day as he was walking along 
the central range a noise that resembled the stroke 
of an axe on a hollow tree. Next day the same 
noise continued, and he therefore started off to 
investigate ; and in a small creek or water-gully came 
upon an ingenious contrivance put up by the Sakai to 
frighten monkeys away from some durian- trees, of 
which there were a number in full bearing in the 
neighbourhood. The contrivance was made out of 
an internode of bamboo, some five feet long, and had 
a fairly big stone lashed to the bottom end ; rather 
less than half-way up a hole had been bored and a 
long thin stick passed through it, the ends of which 
were made fast to a couple of trees on either side. 
The bamboo was fixed at about half a right angle, and 
a second bamboo led a stream of water into it ; as 
soon as the first bamboo became full, its top-heaviness 
caused it to tilt up, when the weighted end fell with 

* Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 155. * Ihid, 

358 CULTIVATION part ii 

a thud upon a third piece of bamboo which was fixed 
ready to receive it. The same writer added that the 
Sakai employed the ** whistling " ( or " iEolian ") 
bamboo a good deal for the same purpose, but said 
that this '* fog-bell " of theirs was better.^ 

III. — Jakun. 

Blandas. — No record has hitherto been obtained of 
the actual rice-planting ceremonies practised by the 
Blandas in K. Langat. But the agricultural rites of 
all these tribes, as might be expected, are borrowed 
almost in their entirety from their Malay neighbours, 
and hence there is reason to believe that they cannot 
differ greatly from the ceremonies just described. 
That this is the case is borne out to some extent by 
the text of two padi - planting charms, which were 
given me by the Blandas in this same district. The 
first, which corresponds to the Malay tree-felling in- 
vocations, may be rendered as follows : — 

Charm to expel Earth-demons on opening up' a Clearing. 

Leaves of " kreduk '» and " sdlimbar," » 
Tree-shoots that entwine and dangle, 
Dangle till they reach down earthwards. 
Therewith chase I you. Earth-demons ; 
Fly to leftward, fly to rightward, 
I have chos*n this spot as lodging 
For Bananas, Yams, and Rice-plants. 
Lords of hill, and hill-locked basin. 
Drive we back these foul Earth-demons \ 

The second of these charms is to be used for 
calling the Rice-soul home at harvest-time (** panggil 
sSmangat padi '*).* It runs as follows : — 

* " Queensland " in SeL J, vol. i, ' A big climbing parasite (Klin- 
Na 15, p. 230. kert). 

* *• Menetau " ; so-called in Makiy * Cp. Malay Magic y p. 235 stqq. 

Cultivation of the Tapioca-Plant (on Left) and Sl'gar-Cane (in Centrei — 
ABORir.iNAL Woman in FoRK(;RoLNn, I'lu Kali, Selancor. 

I'ol. I. />. 359 


Charm for invoking the Rice-soul. 

Rice-boat ^ male and Rice-boat female ! 
Clack, cluck cluck ! your souls I summon, 
Both the girl-child and the boy-child 
Come, we yearn to bear you homewards. 
Souls of Rice-plants,' S'lotan, Borak, 
Jambi, Pulut,' Maize, Bananas. 
Thus into the house we bear you, 
In the soil no longer slumber, 
Slumber now within the curtains.^ 

The directions given me in connection with this 
charm were that the magician, on reaching the house 
(when returning from the rice -field), should say 
" Coming " (Mai. " datang "). As soon as the people 
in the house, who ought to be on the look-out, hear 
this announcement, they should bid the Rice -child 
welcome with " Come hither, then ! " 

One of the most interesting facts to be deduced 
from the above charm (which was given me by an old 
Blandas chief) is the fact that by these aborigines 
a soul is attributed to maize and banana trees, as well 
as to the various kinds of rice. 


Besisi. — The Besisi have little that can be termed 
horticulture, though by dispersing either in their own 
plantations, or in the jungle, the seeds and stones of 
the fruit which they eat, and sometimes clearing the 
undergrowth around them afterwards, they naturally 
come to look to some extent upon the trees that 
spring from these seeds as the property of their tribe. 

' The rice-boat or ** puan,'* as it is << Borak " and ** Jambi,*' are the names 

called in Malay, is a boat -shaped of the best kinds of rice (*<padi'*) grown 

wooden box (with built-out part be- in the district. 

hind), in which rice is deposited by ' '< Pulut " is Oryta glutinosa^ or 

Malays when used ceremonially on glutinous rice, used chiefly with turmeric 

great occasions, or in processions, such on ceremonial occasions, 
as that of a wedding, etc ^ Lit, ** mosquito • curtains " — a 

* "S^lotan" or " SMotan," as well as wonderfully graphic and human touch ! 

36o CUL TIVA TION part ii 

At the same time, it should be observed that their 
claim when made, as so often happens, by way of pro- 
test against some usurping Malay, is not to the owner- 
ship of the tree or trees, but merely to a reasonable 
share of their fruit. The Malay is frequently left in 
possession by the simple jungle-folk with this express 
proviso, but as frequently breaks his contract, and this 
question of the ownership of such trees has repeatedly 
received the attention of the Government, the dis- 
appointment of the aborigines having repeatedly led 
to great wrangling between them and the Malays, 
whilst the latter never hesitate to use their power as 
the stronger race for the purpose of seizing the trees 
entirely whenever they find an opportunity of doing so 
unchecked. The trees thus planted are the durian, 
the mangostin, rambutan, rambai, lansat, tampoi, 
and others, the value of even a small orchard of this 
kind to a Malay being very considerable. The late 
Sultan Abdul Samad of Selangor, whose mother was 
said to have been of aboriginal extraction, had several 
such orchards in his possession, and most of the in- 
fluential Malay chiefs who surrounded him were the 
owners of similar property. 

The collecting of the fruit is done for the most 
part by women. A special fruit-gathering implement 
(which may, however, be copied from one employed by 
the Malays) has been described by Mr. Bellamy, who 
saw it in use among the Besisi, as I have myself done. 
It was used mostly for fruits about the size of an 
apple, especially the mangostin, and its main object 
was apparently to do away with the necessity of climb- 
ing the trees. To make it, the Besisi would procure 
a long thin bamboo, and splitting it lengthwise (at 
one extremity) between two joints or nodes, press 


the Split end forcibly down until the section opened 
out and took shape not unlike that of a small round 
cage. This cage -like formation was then bound 
round with rattan to preserve its shape, and a portion 
of two or three of the bars of the cage excised, 
sufficient length being, however, left in the bars of 
the upper section to form a sort of claws. The fruit- 
gatherer, after strapping a basket on to her back, 
then set to work, and passing the claws round the 
stalk of the first mangostin, gave a slight pull so as to 
detach the fruit, which, instead of falling to the ground 
and becoming bruised, simply dropped into the cage 
below the claws. 

I may add that the Besisi also occasionally, like 
the Malays, make use of magic to cause their fruit- 
trees to bear better. 


The Besisi cultivated the usual catch-crops (maize, 
tapioca, yams, and sweet potatoes, etc.) as well as 
rice, though the harvests that they obtained were 
seldom very much to boast of. Their settlement at 
Ayer Itam stood in very low-lying ground which re- 
mained more or less swampy throughout the year, so 
that there was no trouble about water- courses and 
embankments, a fact which they evidently appreciated, 
this being the great stumbling-block in the way of 
regular rice-cultivation, even among the local Malays. 
The following lines of a song sung at a Besisi rice- 
feast describe the various processes of rice-culture as 
practised by their tribe : — 

Song of the Rice-planters. 

Go ye out to fell your clearings, 
Bum ye then your sun-dried timber, 

362 CULTIVATION part ii 

Early plant, to make rice fruitful,^ 
Plant ye rice, yams, cane, bananas. 
Bnild a hut to shade the planters. 
When yoar crop's ripe, reap it quickly. 
Or you'll want, your rice grown rotten. 
Leave it not then, reap it thoroughly. 

The operations of sowing and reaping were always 
accompanied by the reciting of charms, which appear at 
first sight to be borrowed, almost bodily, from the rice- 
ciistoms of the local Malays, though it is more probable 
that a large portion of them were of independent Jakun 
{ix. aboriginal Malayan) origin. Periodical feasts 
were also held in the house of the tribal chief or Batin, 
both when the rice first began to bloom, and also at 
the beginning, middle, and end of the harvest. 

The Besisi have a ceremony (resembling that of 
the Malays) for bringing the Rice-soul back to the 
house. But on arrival at the house the Rice-soul is 
suspended from the ridge-pole of the roof (" tulang bum- 
bongan ") instead of being deposited (as by the local 
Malays) in the rice-bin (**k5pok padi.'*)* As soon as 
the Rice-soul has been brought home the Besisi hold 
one of their great feasts or orgies (** main jo'oh "), at 
one of which I was fortunate enough to be present, and 
of which I accordingly took careful notes at the time. 

This festival that I attended took place at the 
Besisi settlement at Ayer Itam in the Kuala Langat 
district of Selangor. On reaching the Batin's house 
— which was the largest house in the village, and had 
a specially built "balei" attached to it, which could 
have probably held at one time a hundred people — we 
found it decorated in expectation of our arrival, which 
took place at about half-past one. By half-past two 

^ Lines two and three are trans- ^ One of the points that suggest for 

posed in the original, no doubt by this rite an origin independent of the 
accident. ci\'ilised Malay customs. 


the cooking of the rice by the women of the village 
was completed, and there being about sixty persons 
present, the men sat down. Before the feasting com- 
menced, however, a charm was recited by one of the 
minor chiefs. Seating himself at the head of two long 
rows of banana-leaf ** dishes " (all of which were well 
heaped with rice as they lay on the floor), he addressed 
a friendly invitation to those beasts of the jungle and 
noxious insects which at all other times are considered 
the deadliest foes of rice-planters, but which (on this 
occasion only) were invited to glut themselves, and so 
join in the general banquet. This charm, which I 
afterwards took down from the chief who recited it, 
was mostly in Malay, and ran as follows : — 

Invocation of the Enemies of the Rice-crop. 

Partake, O Round-foot. 

Partake, O Rats. 

Partake, O Blight. 

Partake, O Finches, 

Partake, O Stink-bugs. 

Partake, O Caterpillars. 

Partake, O Green-fly. 

Partake, O Deer. 

Partake, O Pig. 

Partake all of you of the year's Eldest-born. 

We have not eaten yet. 

But are just about to do so. 

** Round-foot *' is euphemistic for the elephant, 
which, together with the wild pig, deer, and rats, used 
to work terrible havoc in the Besisi rice-fields at times. 
At the close of the invocation a small portion of rice 
was carried out of the house by one of the company 
and deposited on the top of an old tree-stump not far 
from the house — in ^xooi oi bona fides. 

The remaining banana-leaves were now unfolded and 
the feasting began, and lasted a considerable time, the 
Batin or chief of the tribe feeding last. When it was 

364 CULTIVATION part ii 

over we sat in groups and conversed till nightfall, when 
our unsophisticated orchestra struck up its liveliest air, 
and the business of the evening (dancing and singing) 
commenced in real earnest. The performance was 
strictly choral (in the old Greek sense of the word), and 
the names of the airs (and their accompanying dances) 
which were performed were as follows : — (i) ** Radin," 
or ''The Prince''; (2) " Gubang Laut," or "The 
Pirateer"; (3) "Pukol Baling"; (4) "Ingkau Badan/' 
the two last being tunes of the Bajau or Malayan 
pirates, with whom the Besisi claim kinship. A little 
later, after an interval for song-dances of the mimetic 
type (viz. the '*Siamang," ** Bangkong," and ** Gagau "), 
the women, after considerable pressing, were induced 
to join the entertainment and perform certain dances 
called (i) the "P'rang," or the war-dance; (2) the 
** B^ngkalis" ; ^ and (3) the *' Kopak *' (the latter;of which 
was said to be a purely Jakun air), the men doing the 
actual dancing. Generally speaking, the motions of 
the dancers were much freer than is the case with 
the Malays ; indeed, some of the dances, such as the 
** Pirateer " (or ** Gubang "), grew almost furious, and 
roused great enthusiasm on the part of the audience. 
The ** Siamang ** and its companion pieces, on the 
other hand, were really cuted in character by men of 
the tribe, the actor repeating the words of the poem 
after the Batin or tribal chief, and suiting his gestures 
to the words as he did so. Some of this acting was 
particularly clever. 

I may add that the full dancing dress of the Jakun 
on these occasions consisted of woven strips of " s€r- 
dang** (palm) leaves, which were made up into (i) a 

' The name of an island off the believe, of a fish after which the island 
opposite coast of Sumatra, and also, I was named. 


head-band with a long fringe, which went completely 
round the head and partially hid the face ; (2) two 
tassels similarly constructed, which were attached to 
the head-band ; (3) a sort of bandolier made of the 
same leaves ; and (4) a " s^rdang ''-leaf belt. The full 
dress was not ready on our arrival, but it was worn the 
next morning at an additional impromptu performance 
which was got up for our benefit before we left on our 
journey home. 


Mantra. — The Mantra were not so advanced in 
cultivation as the Karens of the Tenasserim coast. 
These last cultivated cotton and made their own cloth, 
which was not the case with the Mantra. The 
Karens also had vegetables, which were unknown to 
the Mantra. The latter contented themselves with 
clearing a small piece of ground in March, and in July 
set fire to the (felled) trees, which by that time were 
sufficiently dry, and at the beginning of September 
planted their padi and yams (" k'ladi "), etc. But 
these clearings were usually so small that their 
harvest ;of rice was only enough to last them for a 
couple of months, the yam being then their only food 
for the remainder of the year.^ 

L(^an relates that just as the Benua-Jakun on com- 
mencing a new clearing made offerings to the earth- 
genie (** Jin Bumi'*), so too the Mantra, when he had 
resolved to abandon his old plantation, began first of 
all by searching for a good locality. When he had 
found one, it remained for him to discover whether the 
supernatural powers were favourable to his occupation 
of it. This he did by attending to his first dream 
after making the selection. Should he dream of being 

1 Barbe in/. /. A. vol. v. pp. 487, 488. 

366 CUL TIVA TJON fart ii 

chased by a dog, or by an enemy, or of entering water, 
or of water flooding the locality, or of any other such 
incident which was considered a bad omen, he pro- 
ceeded to seek for another spot. Favourable omens 
were to dream of felling or of climbing trees, of ascend- 
ing a hill, or of growing plants, and so forth. When 
by means of his dreams he felt assured that he had 
selected a fortunate place, he repaired to the spot, took 
a little betel-leaf, repeated a charm over it, chewed 
it, and then spat or rather blew it out of his mouth 
(** sfimbor ") in the direction of the four cardinal points. 
The charm used was the following : — ** Huma,^ Opener 
of the mouth. Opener of me, open, and let youth at the 
river-mouth be fostered by youth. I cast down devils, let 
them fall headlong even before I have charmed them. 
I have driven away the venom of devils, I ask you to 
expel and drive away devils of every description."* 

The ceremony ended, he proceeded to fell a space 
" big enough to cook in " (** tSbas api dapor "), and 
retired. Three days later he returned to the spot, 
and began his labour in earnest. Having cleared a 
sufficient space, he waited until the trees he had felled 
were sufficiently dry, and then, on some clear windy 
day, set fire to them. When the ground was ready to 
receive his plants, he prepared some rice-flour mixed 
with water (Malay, "tgpong tawar**), in which he 
dipped a brush made up of leaves of the " satawar," 
**gandarusa,** "ati-ati," and " ribu-ribu," and sprinkled 
the liquid at intervals about his clearing.* He then 
buried in the ground some talisman that had the pro- 
perty of driving away the evil influence or bad demon 
that lurked in the ground (** buang badi tanah "). The 

* A clearing for dry hill-padi. * J, I, A, vol. L pp. 320, 321*. 

' Cp. Malay Magu, pp. 230-233. 


clearing being now completely protected, he proceeded 
with confidence to plant his potatoes and yams.^ 

Rice, however, required a special charm of its own, 
and when it was sown, about two " chupak " measures 
of padi were taken and mixed with the rice -flour 
water (** tgpong tawar ") and lime-juice. This liquor 
was carried to the place where the rice was to be 
sown, together with a Malay peeling -knife ("pisau 
raut "), a " sarong,'' a censer (" pSrasapan "), and leaves 
of the ** ribu-ribu," ** sidingin," and ** pandan." The 
padi was then fumigated in the smoke of gum ben- 
jamin or eagle-wood (** lignum aloes "), and the leaves 
placed over it, the ** sarong " being stretched between 
two erect poles, and the knife deposited on the ground. 
The following charm or invocation was then repeated : 
— '* In the name of Allah. For good-luck's sake give 
cold, give coolness. Lo, I deposit here this infant 
{ue, the padi-seed)." The leaves were now planted 
in the ground, and the padi was sown. Three days 
afterwards the sowing of the entire field was completed, 
the holes for the seed having been prepared before- 
hand. In planting **wet" or ** swamp" rice ("padi 
sawah ") similar ceremonies were used.^ 

When the grain was ripe, and a day had been fixed 
for the commencement of the harvest, a large quan- 
tity of food was collected, and guests invited to attend 
the feast of the New Year's Day of the Rice (** makan 
sulong tahun"). In the morning the head of the 
family, having carefully wrapped his clothes round 
him so as to conceal his entire person (** b€rs€lubong "), 
proceeded to the padi-field with a Malay reaping-knife 
(** tue "), and repeated this invocation : — ** In the name 
of Allah. I take up the soul of the Rice. Let it not 

* /. /. A, vol. i. p. 321*. * Ibid, 

368 CULTIVATION part ii 

suffer from coolness nor from cold. I take up these 
infants (the Rice-souls) and bear them homewards." 
The operator next cut (the first) seven ears, and carried 
them away to his house. He next ordered some of 
his household to go to a different part of his field, and 
cut a considerable quantity of padi, the grain of 
which, when brought in, was trodden and rubbed out 
of the straw by foot,^ after which it was husked and 
cooked along with the food that had been collected on 
the preceding day. When the guests had feasted 
and were about to depart, each of them received a 
little of the new rice and food uncooked as a kind of 
blessing or largess (** bSrkat ").^ 

The names given by the Mantra to the different 
varieties of padi cultivated by them were the 
following : — 

Kledang Mret (elephant). Ribu. Hati kerbau (buflalo's 

(a wild fruit). heart). 

Tampoi Machin. Atap (palm- Sri gunong (luck of 

(a wild fruit). thatch). the mountains). 

Saring. Undan (pelican). Tingol. Pulut itam (black 

glutinous rice). 
Koai. Lampei. Burak. Pulut putih (white 

glutinous rice). 

The dry-rice cultivation is by far the most pre- 
valent, but the wet cultivation is also resorted to at 
Labu, Malim, Serdang, Payong, Pasang, Jugra, 
Rawang Kechil, Rawang Besar, Kidang, and Sepang 

Of other forms of cultivation the only one which I 
have found ascribed to the Mantra is gambier-planting 

' C^, Malay Magic^ p. 245. There are in fiwjt three methods of rice- 

*y. /. A, vol. i. p. 322*. planting practised in the country — (i> 

5 Ibid, p. 331*. the dry hill-rice; (2) swamp-grown rice 

It should be explained that the cul- (without embankments orwater-couise); 

tivation of wet rice grown within low (3) wet rice (with both these latter). 

embankments is not practised, so &r as Most of the places mentioned are in the 

I know, by any of these Jakun tribes. Kuala Langat district of Selangor. 


(which is mentioned by Logan), though I have little 
doubt that many other light crops, such as tobacco, 
are also grown by them when occasion happens to 



Benua-Jakun of Johor. — Although their clearings did 
not yield fruit, the Benua often planted young durian 
trees and "chSmpgdak" trees among their potatoes 
and bananas. In after years they would revisit the 
place, and if the trees had grown up and bore fruit 
they would cut down the young jungle (**b*lukar") 
growing up around them, and thus reclaim their 
orchard.^ In the forest Logan passed many of 
these orchards, some of which contained durian trees 
of great size and beauty. The durian groves were 
frequently at a distance of one or two days* walk (or 
even more) from the clearing, and families found it in 
such cases more convenient and agreeable to resort to 
the groves themselves than to have the fruit brought 
to them. Slight temporary huts were therefore con- 
structed beside the fruit-trees, and here they passed 
the fruit season, which lasted from one to two months, 
and only returned home when the last durian had 
been gathered. In one of these groves, that of 
Danlek, where Logan took advantage of the hut to 
rest and pass the night, there were some smaller huts 
on the ground, which appeared to have been specially 
devoted to durian-eating, for while bushels of seeds 
and husks were heaped around them, very few were 

1 J, I. A, vol. i. pp. 254, 255. spent upon clearing the trees around 

* These orchards generally con- them. See account of Jakun orchards 

tained from ten to twelve large durian in^. /. A, vol. ii. p. 261. 

trees, and great care and trouble was 

VOL. I 2 B 


to be seen below the raised hut. The durian feast 
was the most joyous season of the year, and if the 
wilder habits of their forefathers still had a poetical 
charm for the Benua, as appeared to be the case, it 
would not be easy to picture them in a happier mood 
than when secluded in such a spot as Danlek, freed 
for the while from the intrusions and exactions of the 
Malays, and drawing from the pure waters of the 
Kahang river, which ran past the grove, and from the 
surrounding forest, the cheer which recalled the 
banquets of the olden time when a traditionary prince 
of their race ruled the land. A full-grown durian 
orchard was the only kind of property in any form of 
cultivation which was of permanent value to them, for 
whilst neither houses, nor gardens, nor rice -fields, 
nor in fact any land whatever, had sufficient value to 
command a price, durian trees were not unfrequently 
sold. One dollar was the standard price paid for 
each of the buttress - like projections or "struts" 
(**banir'*) which the trunk of the durian, like that 
of several other Malayan trees, throws out at the 
base of the stem. Those with plain stems and no 
buttresses were valued at two dollars. Durian 
groves were sometimes rented for a piece of cloth or 
similar object of the value of a few dollars, and by 
their custom ('*hadat*') the renter was invariably 
entitled to the produce for two successive seasons. 
This was probably founded in reason, for durians 
generally have alternate light and heavy crops.^ 


Their method of rice-planting was to clear fresh 
patches of jungle annually, and to build their huts in 

* y. /. A, vol. i. pp. 259, 260. 


the clearings so made, the principal hut being built in 
the piece of ground that had last been cleared. This 
was usually at some distance from the bank of a river, 
in order to avoid the inundations which occur after 
heavy rains. Offerings were made, as by the Malays, 
to the Earth genie (" Jin Bumi ") on commencing to 
fell the forest. As soon as a sufficient space had 
been opened, the trees were left for some months to 
dry. They were then burnt, and holes made with a 
stick in the ground (which was enriched by the wood- 
ash produced by the burning) for the reception of 
plants and seeds brought from their last clearing. 
The cultivated plants found in almost every Jakun 
clearing were the sweet potato (" kledek "), the 
potato ("ubi bgnggala'*), the tapioca (**ubi kayu"), 
the water-melon, and the sugar-cane. Bananas 
occurred frequently, but not abundantly. Maize was 
not so common as with the Berembun tribes. The 
wild leaves and shoots used as vegetables by these 
tribes^ did not appear to be resorted to in Johor. In 
many clearings tobacco was cultivated, and in a few 
some kinds of bean (" kachang bunga',*' etc.). In a 
considerable number of the clearings a portion was 
set apart for the growth of rice. The dry or wet 
forms of cultivation were resorted to according to the 
nature of the locality, but the former was most 
general. Flowers were neglected. Only a single 
instance of their cultivation was noticed, and they 
were never worn in the hair. It must be remembered, 

» Sach as the "lipu," "alung," and the leaves of ferns ("paku**), **j5- 

••chinarong," "bayan,"an<l "maman"; latang," ** tuba," «* kapaya," *« kaiim," 

the «• cabbage " of the palms called " samoma," " papijih " ; and the roots 

«« nibong," "langkap," *' enau," of the «*gadong," "gupul," "bajon," 

••runat," "chacheng," "d«mpong," ««k'luna," "lintag," "tragel," «*da- 

"noin," "k'lasak,*' "limpet," "che. gun," " tukil," **kung," **wuan," 

chc," "simambu," and "serdang"; "woel," ** punu," **kapayang," etc. 


however, that the dwellings of these people were 
environed by one vast botanical garden, and that the 
river-banks were hung and the forest paths strewed 
with a great variety of beautiful flowers. All the 
remarks in this section, with the slight exceptions 
mentioned, apply also to the Berembun tribes. The 
clearing having once been formed, received no culture, 
and was left entirely to the control of the women.^ 

The only kinds of cultivation in which the 
Benua-Jakun engaged have now been noticed. They 
had no agricultural implements. A stick sharpened 
at one end served as a dibble, and the chopper 
("parang") was used for digging up roots, cutting 
sugar-cane, etc. Rice (or padi) was reaped by 
hand, and canoes were employed for transporting any 
considerable quantity of it. A canoe from 12 to 15 
feet in length was able to carry from 400 to 500 
gallons ("gantangs") of rice, besides the two men 
whose task it was to manage it.^ 

Orang Laut or Sea-Jakun. 

Orang Laut, Sletar. — The Orang Sletar neither dug 
nor planted, but lived nearly independent of their 
fellow-men, for to them the staple of life in the East, 
rice, was a luxury. Of esculent roots they had the 
*'pVioh" (?"pgria") and *^k1ana,"« both bulbous, 
and not unlike coarse yams; of fruit they ate the 
**tampui," "k*ledang," and "buroh,** whenever they 
came in season.* 

1 y. /. A. vol. i. pp. 255, 256 ; cp. doned and another selected for the next 

a similar method of rice - planting year. 

ascribed to the Jakun, /. /. A, vol. «/. /. A. vol. L pp. 271, 272. 

ii. p. 258, where we are told that ^ Sic, ? "k*luna,"as in note, p. 371. 

after the harvest the place is aban- * J, /. A, vol. i. p. 343*. 


Orangr Laut, Sabimba. — The Sabimba also abstained 
from planting, and consequently their vegetables con- 
sisted of the wild fruits of the jungle.^ 

Orang Laut, Hoka Kuning. — The Orang Muka 
Kuning did not cultivate any plants, or breed any 
animals save dogs.^ 

Orangr Laut» Bedoanda Kallang. — The Beduanda 
Kallang not only did not cultivate any plants, but 
asserted that their ancestors had made a vow on the 
part of their tribe never to make clearings for the 
purpose of cultivation, and stated that they believed 
that if any of them were to break it death would be 
the consequence.* 

' /. /. A, vol. i. p. 347*. * Ibid, p. 337*. ' Ibid, p. 300. 


Arts and Crafts. 

Division of Labour, 

As a rule it may be said among all the tribes that the 
men perform the essential minimum of such work as 
requires brute force, and the women do the rest. 
Among the wildest Semang tribes, the men do the 
hunting, and the women the shelter-building and the 
cooking, and so, too, among tribes which have 
reached the agricultural stage ^ the men do the 
felling and heavy clearing, whilst the women do 
the lighter clearing and lopping of branches, as 
well as the sowing and reaping, and not unfrequently 
the tilling of the soil, if the scratching of its surface 
with a pointed stick can be so called. Similarly, when 
a regular house or hut has to be built, the men only 

^ The following description, by to collect sweet potatoes, sugar-cane, 

Logan, of the work of the Benua-Jakun and so forth, for the morning repasL 

women applies, generally speaking, Breakfiut once cooked and despatched, 

to all tribes that have reached this they employ themseWes in nursing 

stage : — their children and weaving mats and 

*< The plantation, having once been bags until it is time to go out and fill 
formed, receives no culture, and is left their baskets again for the evening 
entirely to the control of the women, meal. If the men are at home, a slight 
who are never for a moment idle. In meal is also prepared in the middle of 
the morning, having first refilled their the day. The only employment at a 
melon -skins (or gourds) with water, distance from the plantation which 
they fiisten a deep basket on to their they share with the men, and some- 
backs by means of straps passing over times pursue by themselves, is angling " 
the shoulders and head, and proceed {J, /. A, voL L p. 256.) 



perform such work as actually requires their strength 
{e.g. the felling, transporting, and erection of the 
heavier timbers), and the women complete it. On 
the other hand, the men are very generally, I believe, 
if not invariably, both the makers and decorators of 
their own weapons {e.g. the blowpipe and the bow, 
quivers and arrows) as well as their own implements 
{eg. axe-handles, knife -handles, and spear- shafts), 
whilst the work of making bags and baskets, mats, 
wallets, and pouches, and in fact all kinds of mat and 
bark-cloth making, and basket-work, commonly fall to 
the lot of the women. 

The men, again, do most; of the hunting and trap- 
ping, but the women take a large share in the fishing, 
and in the collecting of roots and fruits. All the 
cooking, on the other hand, is performed by the 
women and girls of the tribe, as is also, naturally 
enough, the nursing and care of the children. 

The catechism addressed to the bridegroom at a 
Besisi wedding contains a fairly exhaustive category 
of the duties of the would-be husband, and does not, 
to my mind, bear out the general assumption that the 
women are burdened with an unfair share of the work. 
On the contrary, it appears to me that the division of 
labour among these children of nature is very fairly 
equitable, and that the man cannot reasonably be 
expected to do more. Can it be that it is in a more 
advanced stage of civilisation that the real oppression 
of the woman begins ? 

Manufacture of Bark-cloth. 

The bark-cloth which forms the ordinary worka- 
day wear of all the wilder branches of these tribes is 

376 ARTS AND CRAFTS part ii 

usually made from the same material as the ** tapa " 
cloth of Polynesia, though it is rarely, if ever, quite 
so finely worked up, and is generally, in fact, somewhat 
roughly made. When stripped from the tree it is 
beaten out by means of a wooden mallet, either round 
or toothed. 

A specimen of the latter, which was collected by the 
writer among the Blandas of Selangor, is now in the 
Cambridge Museum ; this specimen is grooved or 
toothed transversely, as in Sakai specimens from 
Batang Padang (Perak), whereas in other districts, 
more under Semang influence, the flat under-surfece 
of the mallet is subdivided into a large number of 
small squares. The direction of the grooves or teeth 
must of course depend upon the position in which the 
operator sits or stands with respect to his work.^ 

The cloth when made is often decorated with 
designs, which again bear a curious family resemblance 
to the main designs sometimes seen on ** tapa *' cloth. 

The tree from which the bark is generally taken is 
a kind of wild bread-fruit tree {Artocatpus),^ which is 
called by the Malays " tSrap " or " tVap." But the bark 
of other trees (even that of the Upas tree,' which 
furnishes the deadly dart-poison of these tribes) is also 
very generally used, the poisonous sap being merely 
well washed out of it with water. This particular 
kind of cloth seems generally to be recorded from 
districts under some degree of Semang (Negrito) 

* Sec p. 140, ante, * Antiaris ioxuaria,B\.{C/rtica£ea), 

^ /,c Ar^arpus JCunstUri, Hook. The bark of a kind of ficus (called 

fil. (Urticacea), It is interesting to <<ara") was also said to be used for 

note that both this bread-fruit tree cloth by the Negritos of Belimbing (in 

and the Upas belong to the same Ulu Kelantan). 

botanical order. 

Skcat ColU-ctioM. 

Whitk Cloth of Upas Bakk. 

Made from the upas-tree {Antiaris toxicaria) by the Semang of Kedah. Helow ihe 
cloth is the wooden cudgel with which it was made in my presence. 

SAu-at L'oi lection. 

Skmanc Hasket.s. 

I. One small back-basket found in Fan;;an hui (Kuala Sain,Kelaman). 2. One matwork bag made by 
Semang woman (Siong, Kedah). 3. One large pouch made by Semang woman (Siong, Kedah). 4. 5. Two 
back-baskets or wallets obtained from liesisi. 

Vol I. p. 376. 


Sakai Mkn wrrii H.\( k-Baskkt and Blowpipks, Ui.u Slim, S. Pkrak. 

Vol. A A 377. 



The following remarks about basket-work fairly 
apply to all three races :— Basket-work is perhaps one of 
the most important industries of the aboriginal women. 
It is frequently employed not only for the manufacture 
of the all-important dossier or back-basket in which the 
varied products of the jungle are carried homewards, 
but also for many of the traps in which birds, fishes, 
and some of the smaller mammalia are captured. The 
work is as a rule beautifully executed, and in plaiting 
the aboriginal women can rival the Malays. Split 
rattan and split bamboo are perhaps the most usual 
materials employed for these purposes, as they are not 
only strong but pliant and durable. But like all jungle 
folk, these races naturally adapt themselves to the 
necessities of their surroundings, and of course use 
whatever plant grows most handily for their purpose. 
Thus not unfrequently the stem of the " bfimban " is 
selected, even though it lacks the durability of the 
other materials referred to. And the fibrous inner 
cuticle of several kinds of trees (such as Artocarpus, 
which furnishes the bark cloth) is yet another source 
of supply.^ 

Network and Weaving. 

Network, on the other hand, serms to be but 
scantily practised by any of these tri -s, except, per- 
haps, where Malay influence is appreciable, and of 
the actual weaving of any, even the roughest kind, of 
cloth, there is no record whatever. 

^ See p. 376, opp. 

378 ARTS AND CRAFTS part ii 

Absence of Pottery. 

There is also as yet no clear record of any form of 
pottery having ever been manufactured by any of the 
aborigines, and indeed, so far as is known, no pottery 
of any sort is at present made by them. At the same 
time, we have the generally reliable authority of 
Newbold for the statement that a vessel of clay, called 
'* tammumong,*' was applied (by the Jakun or Benua) 
to the purposes of cooking, and that it differedin shape 
from that used by the Malays} 

Traditions of Written Characters. 

In spite of their being one and all universally and 
absolutely illiterate, there are nevertheless among all 
these Peninsular tribes traditions of various kinds 
relating to a lost book or books that are believed 
to have once contained their sacred writings, and 
are alleged to have been destroyed by some fatality. 
This belief is common in Indo- China, and we are 
informed, for instance, that if the Tavoy Karen 
traditions are to be credited, the ancestors of their 
principal tribe once possessed a written book or books, 
which were given them by one Kachaklong, a very 
sacred personage, and which were written on cowskin 

^ Newbold, H. 405-407. If there is remarks that '* this assumed use of 

any reading of this riddle to be achieved, parchment made from cow and buffido 

it may perhaps be that the Jakun or skin militates against the idea of a 

*< savage Malayans" alone of all these Hindu or even of a Buddhist origin 

tribes once possessed, before the influx being assigned to it'* On this point, 

of the more civilised Malays from however, Dr. Stein, in his ** Prelimin- 

Sumatra, the art of pottery, hence the ary Report on Archseolog. Explor. in 

pots made by them naturally took a Chinese Turkestan" (London, 1 901), 

shape of their own. p. 47, notes with surprise that the 

* y. /. -4. vol. iv. p. 417. The writer rubbish heap near the Nuja River 


Other Arts and Crafts. 

Other kinds of arts and crafts practised by these 
tribes will be found in other parts of this book, e^. 
the building of houses and leaf-shelters in the chapter 
on Habitations, the making of blowpipes and bows in 
the chapter on Weapons and Implements, the art of 
cooking as known to the Semang in the chapter on 
Food, personal ornaments under Dress, the construc- 
tion of traps and implements required for the chase 
or for fishing in the chapter on Hunting, Fishing, and 
Trapping, the art of agriculture in the chapter on 
Cultivation, and Decorative Art under the chapter 
so named. 

I. — Semang. 

General Industry. 

Kedah Semang*. — The Negritos that I visited at 
Siong in Kedah were very lazy workers, but as it was 
harvest-time (the one season of the year when they 
are most free from the pressure of want), they were 
having just then an easy time of it. None the less 
they are certainly the best and most skilful hunters in 
the Peninsula, and, as a rule, made traps and weapons, 
collected the poison from the Upas tree and applied it 
to their darts, and when game failed, went out after 

** yielded another writing material, above in/. K, A, 5., Jan. 1902, p. 232, 

little suspected among a Buddhist remarks that these leather documents 

population with an Indian civilisation. will probably prove to date from the 

About two dozen Kharosth! documents second century A.D., and quotes a 

on leather, mostly dated and appar- notice of an Indian official letter on 

ently of official nature, prove that the parchment sent to Augustus in Strabo, 

Buddhists of this region had as little xv. 72, 73, given by M*Crindle, in 

objection to the use of leather for writ- Ancient India as described in Classical 

ing purposes as the pious Brahmans Literature {\fyii\ p. 77. 
of old Kashmir had to the leather bind- For similar traditions (to that in the 

ings of their Sanskrit codices. " Mr. text) v, p. 347 of vol, ii. 
Vincent A. Smith, in reporting the 

38o ARTS AND CRAFTS part ii 

fish and turtles, or assisted the women in their 
search for roots. 

Manufacture of Bark-cloth. 

Kedah Semang. — I have seen the Semang of Kedah 
make cloth of Upas-bark by cutting down young 
saplings of the Upas tree (whose diameter was 
perhaps no more than 3 or 4 inches). These they 
** ring-barked " a few feet from the root-end, and then 
loosened the bark in situ by hammering it with a 
mere rounded (hardwood) cudgel, and then turning it 
back by hand in the way that a sleeve is rolled back, 
or a stocking taken off, the process being continued 
until all the bark on each sapling has been similarly 
treated. As soon as the last of the bark has been 
thus stripped off it is thoroughly washed to remove 
the poisonous sap contained in it, dried for a short 
while in the sun, and is then ready for use without 
any further preparation. 

But by far the most interesting of all the Semang 
articles of attire is the black girdle woven from " urat 
batu " (or ** rock-veins *'). This girdle, which is called 
** tgntom " in the Kedah dialect of Semang, is not 
manufactured, as usually stated, from a kind of creeper,^ 
but from the vegetative parts or rhizomorphs of a 
fungus which resemble long, slender, black, leathery- 
looking shiny strings, rather thinner than ordinary 
leather boot-laces. A number of these strings are 
woven together into a single plait, which measures 
several yards in length, the loose end, 4 or 5 inches 
of each string, being allowed to hang down (when 

* See p. 138, note i. 


the rest has been worked in) instead of being fastened, 
so that when the girdle is coiled round the waist a 
continuous and thick bushy fringe is the result. 

Perak Semangr^ — The loin-cloth of the Negritos, 
which constitutes their sole garment, is made (accord- 
ing to De Morgan) from the bark of a tree {Artocarpus). 
The material is thick, but supple and soft to the feel, 
and is occasionally painted yellow with the sap of 
a plant, the patterns consisting simply of broken lines 
{de lignes brisdes)} 

Of the method of manufacture we are elsewhere 
told that the bark (of the Artocarpus) is either rendered 
supple by being pounded between two stones, or by 
being beaten upon a tree-trunk with a strong wooden 
mallet or cudgel. The strip of bark cut off from the 
tree measures from 3-4 metres in length, and from 
50-60 centimetres in breadth.^ 

In confirmation of the account given above of the 
Kedah Semang, I hear from Mr. Wray that the bark of 
the Antiaris was used by both the Semang of Perak and 
the Sakai as bark-cloth. It was prepared as follows : — 
A young tree was felled and cut into pieces of suitable 
length. The outer portion of the bark was then 
shaved off with a knife and the inner bark was beaten 
with bat-shaped pieces of wood until it would slip off 
from the stem. The bark was then put into running 
water, in which it was allowed to remain for the space of 
one month to free it of the poison ; then it was beaten 
with wooden bats, on one face of which furrows had 
been cut at right angles to each other, to produce a 
grain on the finished cloth.^ 

In a recent communication Mr. Wray writes me 

1 De Morgan, \-il 412. 3 ^ Wray in /. A, /. vol. xxL (1892), 

8 Ibid, ii. 5. pp. 477, 478. 

382 ARTS AND CRAFTS part ii 

that these mallets employed by the Semang of Perak 
to beat out the bark and give it the grain (which it 
retains even after considerable wear) are made of hard 
palm- wood. They are bat-shaped, with cylindrical 
handles, and have one surface of the blade of the bat 
scored with lines at right angles to each other, which 
leave projecting squares about a quarter of an inch 
across, divided by V-shaped grooves of the same 
width. There are several of these mallets from 
Upper Perak and Selama in the Perak Museum. 

The fungus fringe is sometimes supplemented by 
a fringe made from small strips of Artocarpus bark. 
In a specimen from Selama the garment is made up 
as a sort of belt, and ties behind, the fringe being 
much fuller and deeper in front. Other specimens 
from Upper Perak are made of long plaited cords 
many yards in length, and are wound round the loins. 
This woman's garment Mr. Wray considers to be 
characteristic of the Semang. 


Kedah Semang. — The art of mat-making appears 
to be natural to the Semang, although they make 
but limited use of it. It is one of the industries 
which are assigned to the women, the chief articles 
thus made being the mat-work bags or sacks and the 
wallets which are used by the Semang for holding 
their husked rice, roots, and fruits, and similar articles. 
It is quite possible that some kind of small sleeping- 
mat may also be sometimes manufactured by the 
Semang, though I have never seen it or met with any 
record of its use among the pure Negritos. 


Substitutes for Pottery. 

Perak Semang*.— Of the art of pottery, according 
to De Morgan,^ the Semang are absolutely; ignorant, 
the only vessels they use being manufactured 
from big stems of bamboo, which they employ for 
cooking purposes when green, and use as water- 
vessels when the sap has dried out of them.^ De 
Morgan adds that he only once (at S. Kerbu) saw a 
wooden bowl used, this being one which had been 
carved out of the root of a tree with a knife.* 


Perak Semang. — None of the Semang make boats, 
but the Semang (of Perak) make rafts by lashing 
together twenty or thirty bamboos of big diameter, 
and on these they float down the Perak River nearly 
as far as Kuala Kangsar, " though even they walk back 
again.'* * 


Perak Semang. — One of the most primitive methods 
of forging iron known is recorded of the Perak 
Semang by De Morgan.* It consists simply in 
heating the iron till it gets red hot, and then batter- 
ing it into the required shape between two stones. 
This, according to De Morgan, is the method by 
which they manufacture the iron heads of the arrows 
that are used with their bow. 

It is interesting to read that the Negritos of the 
Andaman Islands employed a yet simpler method, as 

* De Morgan, viL 414. * De Morgan, vii 414 [ue, among 

* Cp. Swctt. p. 228: **Of pottery Sakai-Sftnang ?) 
they [the Negritos] have no know- * Hale, p. 286. 
ledge." * De Morgan, vii 415. 

384 ARTS AND CRAFTS part ii 

although they similarly shaped the iron by battering it 
between stones, they did not even previously heat it.^ 

De Morgan adds * that the material used by the 
Semang for this rude form of metal-work consists of 
old tool-iron, which they obtain from the Malays, and 
that they have no idea of extracting the iron from the 
ore, although the oxide of iron is fairly plentiful in 
their part of the country. 

Mr. L. Wray writes me that he once saw some 
Semang forging iron in Upper Perak. They employed 
the ** double-piston bamboo bellows " to blow up their 
charcoal fire, and used a piece of iron fastened to a 
block of wood as an anvil and an iron hammer. The 
knives, spear-heads, etc., made by them were all of 
the shapes employed by the Malays of the same 

II. — Sakai. 
General Industry. 

Perak Sakai. — The Sakai rise early, strap on 
their wallets after breakfast, take their jungle-knives 
or blowpipes, and set off into the jungle in search of 
food and firewood, or tree-resin (** dammar") for torches, 
etc. Others stay at home, and work in and about the 
house, making blowpipe - darts, ornamenting their 
bamboo quivers and other receptacles, and so on.* 

Manufacture of Bark-cloth. 

Perak Sakai. — According to De Morgan, the 
Perak Sakai, when they wished to manufacture bark- 
cloth, commenced by making incisions in the bark 

1 Man's Andamanese^ P- I59 * De Morgan, vii. 415 ; viii. 296. 

8 Hale, p. 295. 


Nkgkito Industries. 

Semang men at Siong, Kcclah, making blowpipe dart (on left), rat-lrap, and flute 
respectively. Man on right holding yams in cleft stick ready for cookirig. 

JW. /./. 384. 


of a full-grown Artocarpus, so as to mark out a 
broad band or strip of bark, the size of which varied 
according to the object for which it was required, an 
average size being from three to four metres by 
from sixty to eighty centimetres.^ 

When the required strip had been thus marked 
out, the bark itself was hammered in situ until it was 
loosened and detached from the trunk. This strip 
was then taken and laid upon a tree-stump or any- 
thing else that might serve, and was then pounded 
with a wooden mallet, and (occasionally) decorated 
with designs in yellow paint (as among the Semang). 

The Sakai of Batang Padang (Mr. L. Wray informs 
me) employ mallets made of a piece of hard heavy 
wood about 13 in. (33 cm.) long, by i^ in. (37 mm.) 
in diameter. The side of the mallet with which 
the bark is beaten is grooved transversely, the grooves 
extending about half-way round the stick. 

Mr. Wray writes me that the Sakai women also 
wear belts composed of a coil of twine made from the 
black fibre of the sugar palm (** gomuto* "). These 
belts are about i\ in. (31.5 mm.) thick, and of 
such a diameter that they can just be passed round 
the hips of the wearer. They are often decorated 
with flowers and sweet-smelling leaves, and with them 
are often worn two bunches either of bark-fibre or of 
finely-cut " pandanus "-leaves. These bunches, which 
are about 6 in. (15 cm.) long, are placed one on either 
hip, the upper (tied) end of each being inserted into 
(and between) the strands of the belt. Both these 
belts and hip-bunches are quite characteristic of the 

^ De Morgan, viL 413, of the Sakai of Changkat Chabang in Perak. 
VOL. I 3 C 

386 ARTS AND CRAFTS part « 


Perak Sakai. — Baskets were made by the Sakai 
women, of which De Morgan relates that they were 
'* beautifully executed," and that their plait- work was 
" fairly close." ^ They are usually made of split rattan. 

According to De la Croix, the wallet, or rather 
back-basket, in which the Perak Sakai, during their 
journeys through the forest, carried their provisions, 
trophies of the chase, etc., was made of ** artistically 
woven rattan," and fixed upon their backs by straps of 
tree - bark which were passed round their shoulders.^ 


Perak Sakai. — The wilder Sakai employed natural 
fibres obtained from the **t'rap" tree {Artocarpus) 
for the making of their casting - nets, which were 
weighted with stones.' 

The nets used by the more civilised Sakai do 
not, however, materially differ from those used by 
the Malays. 


Perak Sakai. — Mat-work was one of the Sakai 
industries enumerated by De Morgan, who says that 
it was mainly used in the production of small sleeping- 
or sitting-mats {petits tapis) and rice-bags or sacks.* 

Substitutes for Pottery. 
Perak Sakai. — The same ignorance of the art of 
pottery that exists among the Semang is also found 

> De Morgan, vii. 415 ; cp. VH, ^ De Morgan, vii. 418. 

iL 611, where he gives specimens of * 3id, vii 415. For patterns, q)^ 

both close and open work. Vff. ii. 611. 

* De la Croix, p. 335. 

Semang Mats and Baskets. 

De Morgan. 

1-4. Mats. 5. Bag made of matting. 6. Hack-hahket of ofjen rattan-work. 7. Back-basket of 
close rattan-work. 8, 9. M.ilay junglc-knifc and sheath. 10. Jun^-lc-knlfe of a differeiit pattern. 
II, 12. Digging sticks. 13-14. Hatchets. — De Morgan in L'H. 25th October 1885, p. 611. 

Vol I p 386. 

Jakl'N Hktki.-\Valm:ts. 

Sk^at Collect i^. 

One betel-wallet (liesisi) wiih small pouches (for holding l>etel-lcaves, areca-nul, aTicl lime) carried 
inside il. Three other wallets (llcsisi and Ulandas) showing various patterns. (Sec p. 390,) 

!>/././. 337- 


among the Sakai.^ For carrying water the Sakai employ, 
says De Morgan,^ the largest bamboo stems they can 
find, the smaller ones, when green, being reserved for 
cooking purposes. The water-vessels of the Sakai 
were frequently well decorated, and sometimes pro- 
vided with a loop for ease in carrying them over the 
shoulder.* Glutinous substances, such as grease, wax, 
the viscid sap of certain trees (used as bird-lime), and 
even poison, they kept in the shells and husks of big 
nuts or fruits. For poison, however, they generally 
employed a small bamboo intemode, which they corked 
with a small section of the leaf-stalk of the ** bSrtam '" 
{Eugeissona tristis), which is very abundant in these 

Boat- and Raft-building. 

Perak Sakai. — The inland Sakai of Perak, accord- 
ing to Mr. Hale, were essentially landsmen, and 
living as they did near the upper reaches of rivers^ 
where it was quite impossible to navigate them,, 
they knew nothing of boat-building, not even to the 
extent of making a bamboo raft.* 

This statement, however, does not necessarily 
apply to all the Sakai of Perak (probably not ta 
those living some way down-stream), for we are told 
by De la Croix that when they were driven to travel 
by water, they would make a rough kind of raft con- 
structed of bamboos, which were lashed together with 
rattans or creepers. M. De la Croix continues that as 
they were naturally idle, they would not expose them- 

I De Morgan, VH, ii. 612. <* Many of our Sakai made boxes of 
3 De Morgan, vii. 414. these bamboos ('buluh belong') and 
3 For an instance of the application crammed into them all their clothes, and 
of the big intemodes of the bamboo henceforth appeared clad only in a two- 
called "buluh b^tong/' see Wray in inch vride strip of bark-cloth." Seealsa 
/. R,A,S,, S,B,, No. 21, p. 154: p. 121, n, 5, ante, * Hale, p. 286^ 


selves to the hard labour of re-ascending the rapids ; 
and that, hence, when they reached their destination 
they preferred to return on foot through the forest.^ 
M. De la Croix adds that he himself had often met 
with these deserted rafts drifting with the stream.* 


Perak SakaL — It should be added that a few 
individuals of the more civilised Sakai tribes {e.g. in 
Ulu Kinta)* used to do a little mining for tin in a 
primitive way, the process employed being usually 
that of washing out the stream tin (known as 'tampan " 
in Malay). The Sakai were also regarded both by 
Malays and Chinese as the best prospectors, and 
often received liberal payment for any work they 
could be induced to perform in that capacity. 

Selangor Sakai. — The habits of the Ulu Langat 
Sakai are simple ; they live nearly the same life all the 
year round. Up at 5 a.m., and out in the jungle 
after eating some cold rice or plantains, hunting or 
searching for jungle produce until about 1 1 a.m., and 
then returning home for a meal. A couple of hours 
later they go out again to inspect their jungle-traps 
and fishing-stakes, and to collect the birds or beasts 
they had shot with their blowpipes in the morning. 
They seldom use their blowpipes in the afternoon. 

1 This remark as to their idleness is, when there are many rapids in the 

however, unjust to the Sakai, and is river ; to get it up-stream would, in the 

obviously based on a misconception. upper reaches of many rivers in the 

It is not through mere idleness that Peninsula, be a sheer impossibility, to 

the Sakai omitted to work their rafts say nothing of the needless loss of time 

up-stream again. Not merely the labour and trouUe involved. Moreover, I am 

but the time spent in such a proceeding informed by Machado that the Sakai of 

would make any such attempt little Ulu Jelei in Pahang can pole a raft ap- 

short of absurd. It b hard enough stream as fast as Malays can pole a boat, 

work, as the writer knows from ex- ^ De la Croix, p. 335. 

perience, to get a raft dovm-streara ^ See Hale, p. 285. 


They are most energetic, and never sleep in the 
middle of the day; they go to bed early, and rise 

III. — Jakun. 

Blandas. — The methods used by the Blandas of 
Kuala Langat for manufacturing their bark-cloth are 
similar to those of the Sakai, the bark of the Arto- 
carpus being detached and pounded in the same way. 
An interesting development of the wooden mallet 
used for pounding the cloth is, however, to be found 
among the Blandas, this mallet being furnished with 
transverse ridges or teeth cut into its under surface. 
These teeth facilitate the process of separating the 
fibres, and render the material softer and more 
flexible.^ As a rule the bark-cloth of the Blandas is 
quite undecorated, though when made from the bark 
of the ArtocarpT^s it is stained by the sap of the tree 
to a sort of deep reddish tinge. Their baskets are the 
" sentong " or back-basket and the " kampah " ; their 
wallet patterns are copied by the Malays. 

BesisL — Among the chief articles of mat- work made 
by the Besisi women of Kuala Langat are sleeping- 
mats (made of undyed material, but otherwise not 
unlike the ordinary Malay type), small square mats 
for sitting on,' mat-work bags for holding rice and 
other objects, and the small delicately woven pouches 
of pandanus (or rush-work) which they continually 
carry at their waists to hold their tobacco, their flint 
and steel, their apparatus for chewing the betel-leaf^ 

1 J. A. G. Campbell, p. 243. and other non- Mohammedan tribes of 

' This specimen is in the Museum the Malay Archipelago. Among the 

at Cambridge ; v, anie^ p. 140. Peninsular tribes, however, they are 

' These small square mats correspond never wom^ but rolled up for carrying 

to the sitting-mats worn by the Dayaks whenever necessary. 

390 ARTS AND CRAFTS part ii 

and similar articles. The material of which their 
mats are made consists mainly of pandanus or screw- 
pine leaves, which they tear into longitudinal strips, 
Malay fashion, by means of a short wooden holder in 
which iron teeth are set. 

The pouches are often decorated either by means 
of raised^ or coloured rush- work, or by means of 
coloured threads, which latter are stitched on to the 
pouch, following the lines of the pattern required. 

The Besisi, not only in Kuala Langat but through- 
out the region inhabited by them, are very expert at 
the building of small dug-out canoes {i.e. " ch6m- 
plong "), some of which cannot be surpassed.^ 

Their paddle -blades are as a rule much longer 
and narrower than those of the Malays, and are 
consequently less trouble to make. 

I cannot say that I remember ever seeing a 
Jakun sail his boat, and am inclined to believe that 
on the Selangor coast, at all events, they never 
reached this point. 


BesisL — The Besisi of Kuala Langat have, moreover, 
made some advance in metal- work, of which they have 
picked up some idea from the Malays. Thus in writing 
of the fish-spears used by this tribe, Mr. Bellamy 
remarks that they make them by their own unaided 
ingenuity, and that in the jungle near Sungei Am- 
pang he once saw a small native forge, to which was 
attached a rough species of bellows made of two 
upright bamboos, each of which measured about three 
inches in diameter, and that into each of these bam- 

^ Like the well-known and beauti- are occasionally seen in this countiy. 
fully made •* Malacca baskets " which * Cp. G. C. Bellamy, p. 230. 


boos was fitted a sort of piston-rod, which was bound 
round with cloth. These rods were held one in each 
hand, and when moved up and down alternately pro- 
duced a continuous current of air.^ 

Mantra. — Of the industries of the Mantra, with 
regard to the subjects treated of in this chapter, nothing 
special has been recorded, though we learn from 
Logan's Journal that their girls were taught to make 
bags and mats.^ 

Writing is unknown ; they reckon dates by tying 
knots in a string.* 

Jakunof Johor. — Like all Indian nations, the Jakun 
have a propensity to idleness ; but to be exact in this 
account, and just towards them, I must say that they 
are not so lazy as either the Malays or Hindus. Their 
first and principal occupation is the chase ; they have 
a great predilection for this exercise, it being the first 
means by which they feed themselves and their 
families ; and from having been brought up in that 
habit, in which the greater part of their life is spent, 
they should be skilful hunters, which in fact they are, 
both in their way and in the manner of using their 
weapons, as will be seen elsewhere. In the daytime 
they remain at home, where they prepare their arrows 
and other weapons, the substances with which they 
poison their arrows, and cook and eat the animals 
caught the day before, or build or repair their houses, 
etc.* The Jakun who have no taste for cultivating rice, 
or who are not acquainted with the manner of doing 
so, are generally very miserable ; they are then 
obliged to look to the Malays to provide for their 

* G. C. Bellamy, p. 229. tradition of a lost book, sec p. 536, 

* /. /. A. vol. i. p. 330. infrcL, and ii. 346, 347. 

* Ibid, For the Bcsisi and Mantra * /. /. A, vol. ii. p. 258. 

392 ARTS AND CRAFTS part ii 

livelihood; they traverse the jungle all the day 
seeking after rattan, dammar, eagle- wood, and several 
other articles of commerce ; the next morning they 
go to some Malay house, where they dispose of the 
produce of their search, receiving in return a small 
quantity of rice, sometimes scarcely sufficient to 
support their family for that very day ; after that they 
return to the same thing for the purpose of in like 
manner procuring food for the next day, and so on,^ 


Jakun of Johor. — Among the Jakun the panniers 
or back-baskets (so generally worn by all the abori- 
ginal tribes) are usually made either of basket-work 
or of tree-bark. 

D. F. A. Hervey, in writing of the Johor Jakun, 
describes a pannier of the second kind mentioned as 
being manufactured from the bark of the " mSranti." * 

Where the Chinese work tin-mines, they some- 
times employ the Jakun as workmen. It is, however, 
also alleged that there is a place in Jelebu where the 
Jakun work the mines by themselves, and bring the 
tin to Pahang, where they sell it.^ 

Benua- Jakun. — Of Jakun boats we learn (also 
from Logan) that their canoes were used for 
transporting produce and for fishing, as well as for 
visiting every part of the network of rivers on which 
they lived. These canoes varied in length from 8 to 

* y. /. A, vol. ii. p. 260. A fine hardwood kind of jungle tree, 

* /. R. A. S,y S, B„ No. 8, p. 97. generally a Shorea {Dipterocarpete), 

^ J, /. A, voL ii. p. 260. 


15 feet, and were always hollowed out of one piece 
of wood. The most durable timber was selected, the 
''kayu pSnak" being preferred as being capable of 
lasting for upwards of twenty years. A canoe measur- 
ing from 1 2 to 1 5 feet in length, which would carry from 
400 to 500 gallons (** gantang ") of padi, together 
with the two men who would be required to manage 
it, was valued at from 10 to 12 dollars. A canoe of 
rather smaller size (8 or 9 feet in length) was valued 
at 7 or 8 dollars.^ 

Divisions of Time. 

Benua-Jakun. — The Benua have no divisions of 
time save the natural one of the north and south 
monsoons, each of which they call a "wind year" 
(** satahun angin "). They mark time (as the Mantra 
also do) by the seasons when their rice-crops are 
harvested ("musim padi"), or when fruits ripen 
(" musim buah "). They indicate the progress of the 
day by the inclination of a stick. Early morning is 
represented by pointing a stick to the eastern horizon.' 
Placed erect it indicates noon, inclined at an angle of 
about 45 degrees to the west it corresponds nearly with 
3 o'clock, and so on.* In this way a guide familiar 
with the path can intimate within an hour the time 
at which a particular place will be reached, and 
describe with considerable accuracy the distance of 
one place along the route from another. Distances 
exceeding a fraction of a day are reckoned by nights, 
as in some of the Polynesian islands.* 

* y. /. A, voL I pp. 271, 272. * Ihid, p. 388 ; cp. Newbold in 

' The Malays use the word « poko* ** vol. ii. pp. 417-421: "The Benua 

to indicate directions on the horizon. have no written language nor symbols 

' y. /. A. voL i. p. 283. for articulate sounds, as far as my 

394 ARTS AND CRAFTS pa^t ir 

Orangr Laut, Akik. — Of the Orang Laut or " Akik " 
Newbold remarks that they were remarkably in- 
genious in handicrafts, particularly in that of boat- 
building, and that they frequently made long voyages 
in their fragile vessels. The same writer informs us 
that they made use of mat- (or leaf-) work sails and 
awnings, and of cordage, all of which were of their 
own manufacture. And he also tells us that they 
built temporary sheds (**bagan*s") along the coast, 
whenever they had occasion to go ashore for boat- 
building, but that otherwise they resided, for months 
together, in their boats alone. ^ 


The same writer records the fact that the O. Akik 
made use of nets which they similarly manufactured 
themselves, for purposes of fishing.^ 

personal knowledge extends ; though, counting, the natural plan of indigita- 

as previously mentioned, I am assured tion is adopted, throwing the articles 

by natives that some of the tribes counted into heaps of fives and 

in Perak write on the leaves of the tens." 

Stebbal. The Benua are ignorant of ' Newbold, ii. 413, 414. 

the simplest rules of arithmetic. In ^ Ibid. 


Decorative Art. 

We now come to what is by far the most difficult 
of all the many difficult subjects that have had to be 
faced in compiling the description of these tribes — 
the much-vexed question of the interpretation of 
their art. The subject in itself offers a most fruitful 
field of inquiry, such as might take years of the most 
patient and conscientious investigation to complete. 
The writer feels it here necessary to remind his 
readers that he does not pretend to offer solutions 
of the many important questions involved. The 
building of theories has been kept outside the scope 
of this work, the object of which is to describe cus- 
toms as they are, and to lay a foundation upon which 
in years to come a really reliable and lasting edifice 
may be constructed. For we have to face the fact 
that with reference to part of this subject an edifice 
has already been reared upon a foundation of sand, 
and that though the bricks of which it was com- 
posed may to some extent be useful in laying the 
foundation of the new building, the original edifice 
is none the less inevitably doomed to irremediable 


396 DECORATIVE ART paet ii 

The Flower-theory of Vaughan-Stevens. 

The sandy foundation to which I refer, and on 
which so airy a superstructure has been built, is 
Vaughan- Stevens' so-called "flower-theory,'* which 
has been regarded by many as a species of master-key 
for unlocking the innermost secret recesses of Negrito 
art in the Peninsula. This astounding theory, or 
tissue of begged questions, for it is nothing less, 
sets out by ascribing to one of the most backward and 
undeveloped races of mankind — a race of lifelong 
nomads, who go almost stark naked and live upon the 
victims of their bow and spear — a system of decorative 
art based upon scientific principles which would not 
discredit a text-book of botany. 

Certainly it was not without reason that one of 
Vaughan-Stevens* own editors speaks of the " extra- 
ordinary intellectual force of the primitive human 
race " which alone could have evolved the " firmly 
welded flower-system " (** discovered " by Vaughan- 
Stevens himself in the Semang comb patterns), as 
meriting that a monument should be erected to it by 
way of recognition ! 

In order to explain what we are asked to believe 
in the case of this flower-theory of Vaughan-Stevens, 
one of the bamboo back- combs which the Semang 
women wear in their hair must be taken, and the 
entire pattern with which the solid part of the comb 
is decorated carefully copied on to paper. The solid 
part, as will then be seen, is divided by means of 
straight lines running horizontally into a number of 
separate panels. The number of these panels differs 
as between comb and comb, but we may take the one 
chosen by Vaughan-Stevens, which has eight panels 


in all — there being four narrow panels at the top of 
the solid part, and three more narrow panels just 
above the teeth, with a central panel of great breadth 
between them. By the side of this panel-scheme a 
flower should be drawn (preferably an Ixora, that being 
the flower selected by Vaughan- Stevens), showing 
pistil, stamens, petals, and sepals — the smell of the 
flower need not be drawn, but may be understood ! 
Now we are asked to believe that the first panel (count- 
ing from the top of the comb) represents the smell^ of 
the flower in question ; the upper edge ^ of this first 
panel the pistil and stamens ; the second panel the 
"lengthened (or projecting) spike above the green 
sepals '* ; * and the lowest horizontal line, bounding 
the eighth or lowest panel, the sepals themselves.* 

The petals (**tapak"), which one would think 
would be one of the most obvious parts of a flower in 
the eyes of a savage, have no panel assigned to them, 
and what other parts of the flower are represented by 
the unassigned panels we are not informed, but we 
have a shrewd suspicion that the botany text-book 
had been unfortunately mislaid before this part of the 
investigation was completed. Otherwise we might 
have been treated to further ethnological (and perhaps 
even to botanical) discoveries ! 

To be just to Vaughan -Stevens, however, the 
obvious fact is that as he conducted his investigations 
in Malay, he must have been early brought face to 
face with the Malay word ** bunga," a flower 
( = ** bakau " in Semang), and as he evidently did not 

^ The Semang *'was" is said to seem that the pistil is what is really 

= *< smell," but perhaps really means intended, but this has been mentioned 

the solid part of the comb (v. p. 426, already under another name. 
infra), « Sem. "t^L" * Sem. "mos." For the whole 

' Sem. "pawer." It is by no passage, see pp. 426, 427, infra^ 

means clear what this means ; it would especially 427, n. i. 

398 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

know that a common secondary meaning of "bunga" 
was a patteruy he was, most unfortunately, started 
upon the wrong tack from the very outset. The fact 
of the word **bunga," which he thought meant 
" flower,** being applied to the whole pattern, naturally 
suggested to him the idea that the series of horizontal 
lines might perhaps be intended to divide the 
various panels which (he expected) would represent 
the various parts of the flower in question. He asked 
his questions, we feel sure, in perfect bona fides, but 
nevertheless he must have had some such idea as 
this in his mind, and his accommodating informants 
naturally supplied him with the very information that 
he thought he wanted. Thus Vaughan-Stevens, in 
falling into the trap, has furnished us with yet one more 
of those awful object-lessons which are provided from 
time to time by ethnologists who rely too much upon 
the answers given by " question-worried savages." As 
he is not the first, so he will not be the last, and there 
are perhaps none of us who can tread this thorny path 
so securely as never to come into danger of a fall. 

Up to this point we know, I think, quite enough 
to be able to state definitely what the " mos " and the 
**pawer" are not; but our duty does not stop here, 
and a little further consideration of Vaughan-Stevens' 
material will show us, I am inclined to think, what 
Vaughan-Stevens himself must have narrowly missed 
discovering, viz. that the *' mos ** and " pawer " were 
probably the names of two flowers — as indeed, with 
that courageous inconsistency which in such a case may 
be regarded as a proof of honesty, he himself has 
informed us in the very same passage in which he 
states his general flower-theory of the combs. The 
**mos" is, if as I hope we may trust Vaughan- 


Stevens for the fact, a strong-scented kind of Ixora, 
and the **pawer" a similar flower with a somewhat 
weaker scent. ^ It is therefore quite conceivable that 
the two upper panels of the pattern of the particular 
comb that he took for his type, or even of a set of 
such combs, may represent, or at least in some way 
possess an association with, two kinds of Ixora. 
That this solution is more than merely possible is 
shown by the names of the third and fourth panels, 
whose names, as given by Vaughan- Stevens, are 
partly Semang and partly Malay, and mean "rice- 
fruit" (ji.e. rice-grains) and ** salak "-fruit ^ respectively. 
This practice, in fact, of giving names to patterns or 
parts of patterns, either from something that they 
actually represent, or from something they are supposed 
to resemble (or are associated with in use), is a very 
usual and general practice in the Malay Peninsula, and 
is so obvious a method of describing a pattern that we 
must confess we see nothing very striking or original 
in the idea. For an exact parallel, see the " cucumber- 
seed " pattern described below. Hence the parts of the 
pattern would represent different flowers or fruit ; — a 
very different thing from the elaborate theory stated 
above, which is based upon a botanical analysis of the 
component parts of a single flower — this latter being a 

^ The chief kinds of Ixora found species is the Ixora referred to as 
indigenous to the Peninsula, according ** Tetawar bindang," for the Malay 
lo'Ri^cy^s Plant' List,zxt Ixora fulgensy word "padi" means simply rice, or 
Roxb., and other species {Rudiacea), a rice - plant, and ** bendang " {not 
large orange Ixora common in the " bintang" = ** star '*) means "rice- 
jungle ; Ixora opaca^ Br. ; Ixora swamp'' toa Elsewhere we are told 
gTMdiflora, ZolL ; Ixora parviflora^ by Vaughan -Stevens that it is the 
WalL ; Ixora pmdula, Jack ; and blossoms of certain parasitic plants 
Ixora amctna^ Wall, (an orange-red that are especially efficacious against 
Ixora). No such name as *' Tetawar diseases; and hence they are used in 
bindang " is recorded for any of these, the charms (see Vaughan-Stevens, iiu 
but as Ixora pendtda is sometimes 135). 

called "Baratong padi," there can be > <* Salak " is a kind of palm 

little doubt that Siis or a closely allied {Zalacca), 

400 DECORATIVE ART patt ii 

development which is entirely foreign to the cast of mind 
even of the Malays, who are a race some centuries 
ahead of the Semang in general intelligence.^ 

Vaughan - Stevens, however, not content with 
applying this theory to the combs, attempted to carry 
it even further and extend it to all other patterns 
executed by the Semang, such as the patterns on 
their blowpipes, their quivers, and their magic tubes. 
This extension, however, is regarded, even by 
Vaughan-Stevens' own editors, as utterly untenable, 
so that we need not trouble to waste any more time 
in following him further away from the track. 

It is, unfortunately, necessary to speak thus plainly, 
in order to prevent the published work of Vaughan- 
Stevens from entrapping scholars who use it, and who 
may not have had the right kind of field experience to 
enable them to use it critically. But it is a far more 
congenial and grateful task for the writer — knowing, as 
he does, the all but insuperable difficulties of the subject 
— to record the fact that, setting apart all question of 
this absurd pseudo-botanical theory, that indefatigable 
pioneer (Vaughan-Stevens) has left behind him, not 
only a fine collection of specimens of Negrito art (now 
in the Museum of Ethnology at Berlin), but also a vast 
mass of most valuable observations which only require 
critical revision and recension to render them a verit- 
able storehouse of fresh and remarkable information 
for the ethnologist. From this point of view, the 

1 For other scarcely less grotesque the three concentric ring -lines which 

and far • fetched ideas of Vaughan- separate the panels in a pattern repre- 

Stevens, see Vaughan • Stevens, liL sent three kinds of lightning empUyed 

136, and similar references, where by Kari — the straight fiash^ the 

we are told that the hollow of forked flashy and the ** heavy hhte 

a bamboo intemode (used as a tropic lightning' flash^^^ only the 

quiver) represents a mowUain with middle one of which is suppMed to 

caves in the interior^ and that be efiiective ! 


work that has been hitherto accomplished, not only by 
Vaughan-Stevens himself in the collecting of speci- 
mens and information, but also by his German editors 
under the most difficult circumstances imaginable, is 
worthy of nothing but the highest and most generous 
praise. In the light of the fuller knowledge that we 
now possess, I find nothing — even where I am 
obliged to differ or to correct — but what proves that 
their work has been done in the best scientific spirit — 
in other words, with a single regard to truth. 

Hence the plan of the present chapter has been 
formulated with the object of giving in as complete a 
form as possible the result of the inquiries of Vaughan- 
Stevens, rescued as faf as possible from his faulty 
classification and his blunders, and also from the vitiat- 
ing influence of his " flower- theory." Any readers 
who wish to see more of this theory for themselves 
can do so by consulting the original articles in the 
German journals from which the extracts in this 
chapter are taken. The remainder of this chapter 
will include — (i) the detailed explanations of a few 
typical Semang patterns which the writer himself 
has personally investigated, and (2) the substance of 
the German articles based upon Vaughan-Stevens' 
material, from which, as I have said, the fallacious 
** flower-theory," together with other obvious mistakes 
due to bana-Jide ignorance, have been as far as pos- 
sible eliminated. 


One of the most important features of the art- 
work of these tribes consists in their practice of 
representing an object by means either of one of its 
chief parts or of some closely associated idea. A 
VOL. I 2 D 

402 DECORA TIVE ART paet ii 

bat, for instance, is represented by a wavy pattern, 
indicating its wings ; a stag by a small triangle, re- 
presenting his pointed slot. These facts were pointed 
out to me both among the Blandas and Besisi of 
Selangor, before I ever read a line of Vaughan-Stevens, 
and subsequently by the Semang of Kedah. The 
principle has also been noticed by other observers (apart 
from Vaughan-Stevens),^ and may be accepted as 
definitely established. It is, I think, not unconnected 
in origin with the general ideas underlying the practice 
of sympathetic magic or " make-believe," and there is 
therefore no reason why it should not be employed 
by the members of a race who, to a not inconsiderable 
extent, employ what may be called "sympathetic 
methods " in their " medicinal " ceremonies. 

Representation of Entire Objects. 
At the same time it must be insisted upon that 
the powers of draughtsmanship of the aborigines do 
not by any means stop at this point. I have myself 
seen perfectly intelligible drawings representing com- 
plete objects, both animals and plants, upon the shafts 
of blowpipes and similar objects,* and in this respect 
the fine collection got together by Vaughan-Stevens 
is obviously rich. One of the best of these latter is 
perhaps, as Vaughan-Stevens himself points out, the 
drawing of a spider by a Sakai upon a bamboo 
** stamper " or ** tuang-tuang." ' 

Geometrical Patterns. 

But in spite of their possessing the power both 
to conceive and to represent a complete artistic 

^ Z,f, E, xxvi. 142. forbidden to the Mohammedan Malays, 

' This was among the Blandas and they are probably of " savage Malayan *' 

Besisi, and as sudi zoomorphs are origin. * Z,f, E, xxri 143. 


conception, these tribes employ, in the vast majority 
of cases, patterns which are purely geometrical, and 
it is in respect of these that the explanations collected 
by Vaughan-Stevens should be subjected, whenever 
it may be possible, to the closest scrutiny. My own 
experience has been, with regard to these geometrical 
designs, that, as a rule, every other native has a 
different explanation to offer about them, and that, 
on the other hand, the same interpretation will 
nevertheless be frequently given with reference to 
two, or even perhaps to three or four designs which are 
obviously different. In both of these ways Vaughan- 
Stevens no doubt suffered considerably, as will, I 
think, be clear to anyone who has the opportunity 
of checking his work. Especial care should therefore 
be exercised in dealing with this particular class of 
patterns, and every possible means of checking the 
explanations given of them by natives should be 

Dividing Lines or Borders. 

A great deal of emphasis was laid by the informants 
of Vaughan-Stevens upon the ring-lines (" keng-oin " 
or " k£ning-uin ") which separate the various patterns. 
Exactly similar ring-lines (or "party "-lines) are, how- 
ever, employed by the Malays (as by many other races) 
for separating their patterns, and there can, I think, 
be no manner of doubt that the sole original function 
of these lines was io divide the paitems and to keep the 
varums rows of figures in their proper place. It is, of 
course, conceivable that later on (as Vaughan-Stevens 
in many passages is made to say) some superstition may 
have arisen which postulated a particular number or 
arrangement of these lines as a charm against light- 

404 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

ning, but I cannot personally believe this, and in any 
case it will be evident to anybody who examines 
this point that these lines do, as a matter of fact, 
divide and regulate the patterns, and this is what, I 
claim, must (beyond doubt) have been their original 

Essential Irregularity of the Patterns. 

A yet further point in which, I regret to say, I must 
differ entirely from Vaughan-Stevens is his continual 
insistence upon the completeness and regularity of 
each (geometrical) figure and row of figures. He 
has gone so far in this respect as to correct (not 
always accurately) his originals, a work of entire 
gratuitousness, to make the best of it. It cannot, I 
think, be too strongly emphasised that we want to 
collect and to interpret the patterns as they are, and 
not as they might or perhaps even ought to be. 
This does not, of course, preclude the pointing out 
of substantial irregularities whenever they are of any 
interest and importance, but it cannot, I think, be too 
widely recognised that the designs of these tribes, 
like those of the Malays and of most other tribes on 
a similar or even on a higher plane of culture, are 
radically and essentially irregular, and that any ex- 
cessive regularity in a pattern might be ground for 
distrusting the authenticity of the specimen in which 
it occurred. 


Before going further, a clear understanding must 
be arrived at about the names used in this section. 
In spite of the distinction drawn by Vaughan-Stevens 
between quivers and charm-receptacles, I confess that 


I have not succeeded in discovering the smallest differ- 
ence between them from the decorative point of view. 

Vaughan- Stevens himself, in spite of his long 
article upon this subject, headed *'goh" and "gah/** 
is continually confusing them, and as his own editor 
points out, his remark that " others {sc. designs) could 
not be reduced (to a size that would suit the blow- 
pipe), and hence were retained as ' goh * or * gah,' " 
shows that in his mind there was no essential 
difference between them. Elsewhere, after comparing 
the blowpipe and "goh" patterns, he derives the 
blowpipe patterns from a ** goh," whereas, according 
to his own general theory, it was from a " gah " that 
these patterns were evolved. Elsewhere, again, he 
refers to both "goh" and "gah" together as dart- 
quivers. The only conclusion that can be drawn, as 
his own editor quite rightly points out, is that 
Vaughan -Stevens really found no specific difference 
between his " goh " and "gah " patterns, and that his 
theory of the evolution of the blowpipe patterns from a 
"gah" rests upon some misapprehension of his own. 

The fact of the matter is (in my own mind at least 
I am sure), that both these forms of the widespread 
bamboo receptacle should be included in one class 
merely as receptacles, without any reference to what 
their contents might be. In fact the word " g5' " in 
Semang ( = " gOb " in Andamanese)* is the exact equi- 
valent of the Malay " tabong," and merely signifies a 
vessel or holder formed from a single internode of a 
large kind of bamboo, which had, as a rule, certain specific 

' In orig. "gor" and "gar" {sic). probably be "g&'" and "gft'." The form 

These names of Vaughan-Stevens are «gu'" ("gah") is probably identical, 

both cockney spellii^s, there being no Cp. p. 448, infra, 
" r " whatever at the end of either of ^ Man's Andamtuusei p. 8. 

these words. The correct forms would 

4o6 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

uses, but might as easily be put to half a hundred 
others. Hence the Semang " g5' " at times served as 
a quiver, at other times served to carry magic herbs 
and roots, and the general paraphernalia of the Negrito 
sorcerer. If the fact is once recognised that, from a 
decorative point of view, there is absolutely no differ- 
ence between the quiver (*' goh ") and the charm-tube 
(•• gah "), and that both alike are really ** g5' " (the form 
*' gah" or " g§' " being probably, if it has any authority 
at all, a mere dialectal variant of " g5' "), the source of 
endless confusion will be avoided. 

Similarly, the word '*gu'" also appears to be 
applied indifferently both to bamboo quivers and 
burial bamboos, etc. It probably signifies, like " goh," 
a bamboo tube or receptacle. There does not to 
me appear sufficient evidence of the existence of what 
Vaughan-Stevens calls ** gi " to include it in this list. 
Vaughan - Stevens himself could obtain no specimen 
of it, and himself says that they had been completely 
forgotten and disused. What they purported to be 
was a species of charm- tube carried by the women, 
"on which all the seventy Disease-patterns were cut." 
As, however, there are (not seventy but) a hundred 
and forty of these patterns, and as it would be a 
physical impossibility to crowd even the central panel 
of seventy of these patterns upon the surface of a 
bamboo that was meant to be portable, there can be 
little doubt that this was one of the many cases in 
which Vaughan-Stevens was led altogether astray. 

Classijication of the Patterns. 

The charm-patterns employed by the wild tribes 
of the Peninsula may be roughly classified according 
to the objects that they are employed to adorn. 




Dncriptioa of ObiecL 

(I) Bamboo combs.'^ 

(2) Large bamboo tubes, cut from a 
single intemode, and including — 
(a) Bamboo quivers'^ (for ar- 
rows or darts). 

(3) Charm bamboos.'^ 
\c) Myth bamboos.^ 
{d) Burial bamboos. "^ 
(tf) Birth bamboos. "^ 
(/) Bamboo "stampers."* 
\g) Seed bamboos (used for 
dibbling rice). 
(3) Small bamboo tubes, including — 
(a) Poison-receptacles. 

{b) Tobacco-receptacles. 

(4) Blowpipes.* 

(5) Miscellaneous objects, eg, arrows, 

nose-sticks, fish-hooks, and vari- 
ous implements (ring-lines only). 

(6) Mats and wallets (mat-work and 


(7) Bark-doth (painting only). 

(8) The human body (painting and 

tattooing and scarification of the 
person)— -^r. vol. ii. ch. ii. 


(I) Used chiefly by Semang (V.-St. 
Uc, cit,) ; chiefly by Sidcai (Mar- 
tin, 703). Not used by Jakun. 


(a) Arrow • quivers used by 
Semang only ; dart • 
quivers by all three 

{6) Used by Semang only. 

(c) Do. do. 

{d) Do. do. 

(#) Do. do. 

(/) Used by Sakai only (?). 

ig) Collected among Semang. 


{a) Commonly undecorated 
when used by Semang, 
but decorated by Sakai 
and to some extent by 

{6) Used especially by Semang. 

(4) Borrowed in the case of the Semang, 
but decorated by all three races. 

(5) Some of these \e,g, arrows) are 
used by Semang only, but they 
cannot all be specified. 

(6) Not used by Semang except when 
borrowed, but found among Sa- 
kai, and still more among Jakun. 

(7) Decorated by Sakai especially, 
rarely by Semang and Jakun. 

(8) Scarification and tattooing (accord- 
ing to Mr. L. Wray) appear to be 
practised by the Sakai of Perak ; 
body-painting by all three races, 
but especially t^ the Sakai. 

The asterisked objects are the only ones whose 
patterns have been seriously studied, and that in 
most cases for the Semang only. 

Of these divisions the first (that containing the 
Semang combs) includes prophylactic patterns in- 
tended to protect the wearer against various accidents 
and diseases, and must await a fuller discussion 

The Semang patterns of the second class were 
supposed by Vaughan-Stevens to have been originally 

4o8 DECORA TIVE ART part xi 

copied from patterns on certain bamboo tubes, which 
were merely used as charms (and not as quivers and 
blowpipe-tubes). Vaughan-Stevens asserts that the 
former, when first used as quivers, remained of the 
same size as the tubes from which their patterns were 
copied, but that in the latter case the patterns on 
being transferred to the blowpipe-tubes were reduced 
in size. What the truth may be is hard to say. No 
foundation for this statement of Vaughan-Stevens 
appears, and the writer does not himself regard it 
as credible. 

There are said to be in all seventy-three specimens 
of these patterns (for quivers and charm-tubes) col- 
lected by Vaughan-Stevens, who has attempted 
to explain them by means of the " flower-theory " he 
had employed in explaining the combs, but this 
extension, as has already been pointed out, is quite 
untenable (even supposing his *' flower-theory " were 
admitted for the combs). 

The main objections alleged are as follows : — 

1. There are some quivers which have no patterns 
at all but only a few ring-lines (ex. Fig. 8). 

2. Some quivers have the same pattern in all 
their panels (ex. Fig. 9). 

3. In many quivers the central panel is left vacant, 
and hence the *' Disease-pattern " must necessarily be 
looked for in some one of the other panels (ex. Fig. 10). 

4. Again, in some cases, in which all the panels 
are occupied, the central panel is in no way more pro- 
minent than the rest, so that its special importance, 
and in fact its very place in the scheme, still remains 
to be proved. 

5. The patterns of the two upper panels (which 
according to the theory should correspond to the 


''was" and "paw^r" of the combs) are not in all 
cases divisible as they would be on the combs.^ 

The chief difference, however, appears to be that 
in the case of the combs the main Disease-pattern is 
always to be found in the centre, whereas both in the 
blowpipe patterns and in those of the quivers and 
charm-tubes the central panel is often a blank one. 
The fact alleged by Vaughan-Stevens, that in blow- 
pipe patterns of the kind the upper pattern serves to 
protect the men from epidemics, and the lower the 
women {sic\ suggests to his editor the possible applica- 
tion of some such explanation to the upper and lower 
patterns of the quivers and charm-tubes. On the 
other hand, the central patterns that some of these 
very quivers and charm-tubes possess are explained 
by the same authority as charms directed against the 
Diseases that attack the men only. Finally, even 
the division of the ring-lines into groups can be of 
no very special significance, as they are sometimes 
distributed at equal distances over the whole bamboo.* 

Burial Bamboos. 

The Semang "gu'" and burial bamboos are of 
no account as charms.* On the former the mytho- 
logical designs and emblems connected with the 
Putto (of whom only the tradition remains that they 
were once an order of greater chiefs and servants of 
the god Pie) were incised, and the latter have now 
passed to the Sna-hut. Four myth bamboos were 
obtained from the Sna-hut by Vaughan - Stevens, 
together with the interpretation of their patterns. 

* Z,f, E, XXV. 7I-IOO. ^ lb, described as being available as a charm 

' See, however, Gu* IV., which is against water-snakes. 

4 lo DECORA TIVE ART part ii 

There, for instance, is represented the thunder-god 
Kari, and the symbols of his power, together with 
the god Pl€ and his daughter Simei. In addition to 
these there are certain fabulous animals, described as 
the guardians of Paradise, and a great variety of 
flowers and fruits. A Putto is shown lying with his 
head upon a magic stone-cushion, and receiving from 
Pl€ in a dream instructions as to the manufacture of 
mats and other objects. But most unfortunately there 
is no coherence, and the exact connotation even of the 
word " gu " itself is wanting. The designs themselves 
are so vague, that one can scarcely distinguish human 
beings from animals, and the same design, or part of 
a design, often signifies many entirely different objects.* 
The burial patterns or "pgnitah"* of the dead are 
said to be cut by the Sna-hut upon a bamboo tube which 
is deposited in the grave (inserted in the deceased's 
girdle). By these patterns the life-story of the person 
or persons concerned is depicted, so that on their 
appearing before the judgment throne of Kari the 
bamboo serves as a kind of credentials. The patterns 
inscribed on these bamboos vary according to the age 
and sex of the deceased. Their import has up to the 
present received no manner of explanation.* 

Birth Bamboos. 

The Semang "tahong" is a "birth bamboo" 
carried by the woman, which nobody but her husband 
may see, but which she must never go without. It 
contains, we are told, " no flower-patterns." * 

1 Vaughan-Stevens, iiL 124. mand," is of course a possible one* 

* The form given by Vaughan- though I do not feel quite sure of it 
Stevens is "pSnitor" ("peneetor"). ' Vaughan-Stevens, iiL 119, i«a 

The suggested derivation from "titah," * K B, G, A, xxiv. 466, 467; cp. 

the royal word meaning to '* com- Vaughan-Stevens, iiL 11$. 


Bamboo Stampers. 

We now come to the Sakai " tuntong " (more 
correctly " tuang-tuang ") or " kowet-niss," to which 
recourse was had in every emergency of life. These 
bamboos always consisted of a pair of tubes, one of 
which was somewhat smaller than the other, so that 
quite different tones were produced by them when 
struck. These tubes were closed at the lower end 
by the natural node ; but they were left open at the 
top, so that the closed end, when struck upon the 
ground, emitted a distinct musical note.^ 

The illustrations will be treated in fuller detail 
below. The first is 48 cm. high, the second 56 cm. 

There are also ** tuang-tuangs " in secular use. 
These, however, are neither provided with incised 
patterns nor painted, but serve merely to give a signal 
for calling home the inhabitants of a house or 
village, since they can be heard at a great distance 
through the jungle. These undecorated tubes are 
common among tribes who live in the neighbourhood 
of the Malays. They serve in this case, however, 
only as instruments of music* 

The patterns of the other objects classified call for 
no special remark, being mostly confined to ring-lines 
and plain geometrical patterns, with the exception of 
those employed for decorating the person, which will 
be fully treated in another chapter. 

^ Z, f, E. xxvL 140. Vaughan- «» Z,f,E, xxvi. 148. V.-Steycns 

Stevens remarks that these *'tuntongs" has here evidently confused the *' tuang- 

(as he calls them) are never struck upon tuang" of these patterns, which is a 

wood. This refers, perhaps, to the mere "stamper/' producing a note when 

Sakai customs, as I mjrself have more struck against the ground, with an in- 

than once seen and heard them struck stniment bearing the same name which 

upon the wooden floor -timbers of has a mouth-hole at one side, and is 

Jakun huts. really used as a species of ** conch." 

412 DECORA TIVE ART part ii 

Blowpipe Patterns. 

According to Preuss, the (129) specimens of 
Semang blowpipe patterns, their dart^uivers (" g5' "), 
and charm-tubes ("ga*") are intended to serve as 
charms against the various diseases and accidents 
which are likely to attack or affect the men.^ 

The tradition of the Semang about the origin of 
their blowpipe patterns ascribes them to the invention 
of their god Pie, who with the aid of his daughter 
Simei planted the flowers of their chief god Kari or 
"Thunder" near a mountain peak(Jelmol), and evolved 
from them the patterns which would avail against 
Diseases. The Putto ^ incised these correct patterns, 
exactly as Pl€ had invented them, on bamboos which 
were deposited in a large cave, where they were changed 
into stone * by the god, in order that they might always 
be ready to serve as patterns. A set of these patterns 
was prepared for each of the Sna-hut ; whose task it 
was to see that the correct drawings were used by 
the people. The Putto alone, however, knew where 
the caves were. The parts of the flowers represented 
on the combs' in accordance with these traditions, viz. 
" tgpi," " was,*' " pawer," and " mos," are dealt with ac- 
cording to their existing arrangement on the blowpipes, 
without, however, any further working out of the details, 
e.g. the identification of the remaining parts of the cor- 
responding patterns which are incised on the combs.* 

In the publications of the Berlin Ethnographical 
Museum,* mention is made of the Semang explanation 

' Z. /. E, xxxi. 159. See also which is, at the best, a doubtful guess. 

Z,f, E, XXV, 73/ There seem to be, ' This is doubtless due to some 

however, more important uses. legend connected with one of the 

* Spelt by v. -St **Puttow," which limestone caves, so common in the 

may = ** Pattau," though Grtlnwedel north portion of the Peninsula, 

suggests a connexion with "Buddha," ♦ V.-St. iii. no. * 16. p. 130. 


of the patterns as derived exclusively from one of their 
fundamental patterns (i a), which latter has a close 
resemblance to a typical " motive '* employed by the 
Sakai. The Semang are even asserted to know the 
exact order in which the simpler figures were succes- 
sively developed ! The first eighteen stages of this 
development were described by Vaughan - Stevens, 
but in this respect Nos. 1-4 (inclusive) and No. 13 
are all that need be indicated. The fact that the 
Semang are not acquainted with the development of 
the complicated figures of which they make use, 
Vaughan- Stevens seeks to explain — I confess un- 
convincingly — by the fact that these latter patterns 
were formerly incised by the Sna-hut, or even by the 

The E. Semang (Pangan) have only one 
" pichod " pattern, which they are said by Vaughan- 
Stevens to have learnt from the Sakai (.^), but this 
pattern and its variants are alleged to be used by the 
Semang as the groundwork of all their patterns.* 

Among the Semang the pyramidal figure is said to 
be taken as the basis of all their decorative art. It is 
an obvious and simple figure (possibly connected with 
the zigzag) which is commonly found in the art of 
almost all other savage peoples, and there is no 
necessity whatever for supposing that it can only 
have been borrowed from a foreign source.* 

Turning to mixed Semang- Sakai tribes, the 
Tembeh of the east coast states used no decora- 
tion for their blowpipe or quiver; later they 

^ Z. /• E, xxxi. 160. were indebted for this form of oma- 

' Vaughan -Stevens, iiL 129 n, ment to an older stage (''stadium") 

Vaughan-Steyens' comment is that this of the common race, from which they 

figure must either obviously have been were both evolved {sic !). 

borrowed from the Sakai or that both ^ Ibid, p. 130. 

414 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

copied the patterns of the E. Semang or Pangan, 
but very sparingly.^ Vaughan - Stevens describes 
in connexion with this tribe a strange "code" 
or set of signs which he calls the "Tembeh 
message-characters," and he adds that these message- 
characters are known not only to a section of the 
Tembeh, but throughout the whole of the Malay 
Peninsula ! ® The signs were notched on a section oi 
bamboo or drawn upon it in charcoal. At the top 
stood the sign which represented the name of the 
sender (which all parties concerned would be likely 
to know), and underneath stood that of the recipient. 
The characters employed represented such ideas as 
"go," "return," "wait," "escape," "wood-felling," 
" man," " woman," " family," " danger," " salt," 
" tobacco," " day," " night," etc., and so on down to the 
representation of the numbers i to ic* A special sign, 
for instance, stands for " night " or " darkness," and 
another special sign for " day " or " daylight." * 

We next come to the magical designs of the 
Sakai, who since they believed (unlike the Semang) 
in demons, naturally used these designs in a way 
that the Semang never did. Vaughan-Stevens here 
tells us that each tribe of the Sakai has a design 
which does for all the members of the tribe. 

Vaughan-Stevens adds that the designs were used 
merely as charms against certain evil spirits, and hence 
were less numerous than the magical designs of the 
Semang which were intended for use against all the 
(personified) Diseases that they knew of or could 

^ Vaughan-Stevens, iiL 98. numerals of its own beyond three or 

* This, however, is certainly a stretch four, 

of the ims^nation. * Globus^ Ixix. 117, 1896. 

3 No Semang or Sakai tribe has ' Vaughan-Stevens, iiL 130. 


nil III If I I w 

>.JI\r/r\^A AVXJlf:^: 

ii. \ 

o^>o^> ^€:@© 

^^f^^^^^^^^^ ^'^'^^^^^^^^^^ /P^^RC^Rk 

/ 'aughan-Stn'ens. 

Development of the Patterns from the Chevron (/^./ E, xxxi. 160). 

Skcai Colleciion. 

Quivers for Blowpipe Darts employed 
BY the Semang of Kedah. 

Dc Morgan 

Semang Quivers. 

De Morgan in L' H. 25ih October 1885, p. 617. 

Vol. I, />. 414. 

^ 3 .£ 

si = 

C J3 a .2 


£ £ . 

- 2 

vi fB xt 


The following is Vaughan - Stevens' statement 
as to the alleged origin of the Sakai charm- 
patterns : — 

As he (Vaughan-Stevens) was anxious for further 
explanation (about the patterns) he took a bamboo 
(** tabong ") belonging to one of the men, and asked 
to be shown which were Tuhan's finger-prints. In- 
stead of replying, the man seized a piece of firewood, 
rubbed his finger on the charred end, and pressed 
his blackened finger-tip upon the bamboo, thus 
producing a triangular pattern.^ 

Further inquiry elicited the information that for 
the interior portion of this figure no fixed rule 
existed, and that {e.g.) dots might be introduced 
instead of lines. It was further asserted that the 
more complicated patterns were only so many varieties 
of the simple triangle or V-pattern, duplicated and 
arranged X-wise instead of side by side.* 

Of pure Jakun {i.e. Malayan) designs very little 
seems yet to have been written, and specimen illus- 
trations of Jakun patterns seem hardly less rare than 
descriptions thereof. The decorative art of the Besisi, 
so far as I have observed (like their language), so 
closely resembles that of the Sakai as to be almost 
indistinguishable. It is therefore among some of 
the Johor and Kuantan tribes (probably among those 
who still manufacture the wooden blowpipe) that we 
must look for purer specimens of " savage Malay " art- 
work. On the other hand it must not be forgotten that 
much decoration of Malayan origin that was probably 
indigenous in the first place among the Jakun or 

' Vanghan-Stevens, iii. 130. This collected his information. Can we say 

passage exhibits, unfortimately, the un- that the mark made by a blackened 

criticid spirit (which in some respects finger-tip suggests a triangle ? 
was a merit !) in which Vaughan-Stevens ^ Vaughan-Stevens, iil 1 30. 

4i6 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

heathen Malays, has undoubtedly been incorporated 
in the art-work of Semang and Sakai tribes. Un- 
fortunately, as I have said, practically nothing has 
yet been done at this subject, and all that is possible 
in the present work is to indicate the nature of 
the inquiry which, it is most earnestly to be hoped, 
some future investigator may find the means to carry 

I. — Semang. 

Analysis of the Patterns of a Semang Quiver {Siang). 

We now come to the interpretation of certain 
typical specimens of the Semang patterns, which 
were explained to me by the owners of the objects 
described as follows : — 

(i) Second Panel {a) — 

Blossom of the ** p'rah tree, with its skin (or 

(2) Second Panel {b) — 

Hill tortoise (" kura bukit ''). 

The " baning " (a bigger variety). 

The " k4hh " (the biggest variety). 

Ribbed breast of a tortoise, showing the bones. 
It should be noted that in the case of the 
smallest variety there are six tortoise 
breasts in the field, whereas in that of 
the middle-sized kind there are four, and 
in that of the largest three only. 

(3) Third Panel— 

The fruit of the "kglubi." 

(4) Fourth Panel — 

Blossom of the ** rotan sSnik " (a kind of rattan). 
Blossom of the ** rotan tunggal " (another kind). 


(5) Bottom panel of the quiver — 

Deer-slots. These are distinguished from the 
rest of the designs by the scraping off of 
the outer cuticle of the bamboo over certain 
parts of the design that are darker than the 
rest. The parts thus scraped are polished 
with wax, which gives them a reddish tinge. 

(6) Borders are added to all the panels — 

Hawks' eyes (" mata lang "). 

Although I was able without much difficulty to get the 
explanation of the foregoing details, I had less 
success with the remaining portions of the patterns, 
though most likely the objects in the second panel 
{a) were meant to attract the various kinds of land- 
tortoise jportrayed in the second panel (3). In the 
case of the fifth panel this intention is abundantly 
obvious, since it consists of deer-slots pointing towards 
the fruit of the " k€lubi " as well as to that of the rattan 
or Calamus, the object of the design being, no doubt, 
to attract the deer by a suggestion of their favourite 
feeding-grounds, where they would, of course, be more 
easily slain or captured. 

Analysis of the Patterns upon a Second Dart-quiver. 

The Semang further informed me that the object of 
their entire set of quiver patterns was to bring down 
various species of monkeys and apes and other small 
mammals. This particular set of patterns was 
described as possessing much magical virtue ("kom 
jasa'"), the phrase being still more clearly ex- 
plained by the comment of my informants, that it 
would be a " slayer of many victims " ('* banyak bunoh- 

VOL. I 2 E 

4i8 DECORATIVE ART pa^t ii 

Each panel of the pattern contained some special 
design which was believed to be of the highest 
efficacy in bringing down a particular species of 
animal. Thus the first, second, third, fourth, and 
fifth panels inclusive contained charms for bringing 
down various species of apes and monkeys, e.g. — 

(i) The " kaldos " (Mai. " sinekah " or " Chikah".>). 

(2) The **talug" (Mai. "lotong"). 

(3) The "keboft" (Mai. "mawah" or " wa-wa"). 

(4) The "bawad" (Mai. «bW). 

(5) The " bateyu " (Mai. " siamang "). 

The two bottom panels, on the other hand, were 
devoted to the bear-cat (" chepag " or " chfipog " = 
Malay " binturong ") and the civet-cat or " kenseng " 
(Malay " musang ") respectively.* 

Analysis of the Decorations an a Third Dart-Quiver. 

(i) First Panel— 
Thorns of the rattan (leaf-whip and stem). 

(2) Second Panel — 

Python and pythons* bones (" ular sawa "). 

(3) Third Panel- 

Do. do. 

(4) Fourth Panel — 

Do. do. 

(5) Fifth Panel- 

Hawks* eyes and scales. 

This appears to be a food-charm like the last. In 
fact,! I cannot help thinking it more than likely that the 

I The " lotong " is a SemnapUhecm the *<siamang," Hylobatcs lor (gibbon) ; 
(spectacled monkey); the •«b'ro*," the<<wa-wa,**/^^^a/to^^£r/the«bui- 
Macacus nemestrinus (coconut-monkey); turong, ** ArctUtU bintunmg. 


proximity of the fish-scales and rattan thorns may be of 
special significance, since these prickly leaf- whips of the 
rattan are frequently used to make a funnel-shaped 
trap for fish, which immediately on entering the mouth 
of the trap are caught and held fast by their scales. 

Analysis of the Decorative Symbols on a Comb. 

(i) First Panel- 
Rattan thorns (** duri rotan "). 
(2) Second (central) Panel — 

Diamond-shaped diagram filled with little pitted 
marks called " cucumber seeds " (" bunga 
timun"). The cross-lines are called "ten- 
weg " ( = " tin-weg " of V.-St.). 

The complete design is meant to serve as a charm 
to protect the woman against venomous reptiles and 
insects. The chiefs wife informed me that a similar 
design, for a similar reason^ was sometimes painted 
upon the breast of women belonging to the wild 
Semang-Sakai tribes in the northern part of the 
valley of the Plus. 

The specimens above described were all collected 
by the writer in the same region, viz. among the 
Negritos of Siong, in the interior of Kedah. 

The charm-patterns which have been studied by 
Vaughan-Stevens are, with one exception (that of the 
Sakai " tuang - tuang "), all Semang patterns, and 
relate to the following classes (as given above) : — 

Class (i). Bamboo combs. 

Class (2). Large bamboo tubes, including {a) 
bamboo quivers, {b) medicine bamboos, {c) memorial 
bamboos, {d) burial bamboos, {e) birth bamboos. 

Class (4). Bamboo blowpipes. 

420 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

The Theories of Vaughan-Stevens. 
comb patterns. 

In the following pages the description of the 
patterns employed by the Semang, although given in 
the form of a summary of Vaughan-Stevens* own words 
as reported by his German editor/ has been revised, 
rearranged, and corrected where necessary.* 

The magical bamboo back-combs of the Semang 
women are worn throughout the entire Semang region,' 
though on the western side of the main mountain range 
of the Peninsula, from Kedah to Perak, rather for orna- 
mental than for any other reasons, the rules for com- 
posing the patterns being now forgotten there. The 
use of these combs (the name for which is **tin-leig" or 
" tSla' ") is to serve as a means of protecting women 
against the diseases {e.g. fever, called "pong" in Semang) 
against which the flowers referred to are of service. 
For external injuries, such as those caused by a falling 
tree in the jungle, or by the bite of a centipede, other 
talismans are used, not combs. The Semang employ 
no comb for the purpose of dressing their stubborn, 
closely curled hair, yet the women often wear eight 
back combs at a time, and sometimes even as many 
as sixteen, which in this case form a double row, 
the one behind the other. When eight combs are 
worn, two are fixed side by side facing frontwards, two 
backwards, and two towards each side, the teeth being 
inserted right up to the solid part of the comb. The 
choice of a comb or set of combs depends in each 

^ Z.f.E. XXV. 7i-ioo(^. Griinwedel). enclosed in square brackets. 
For Ibt of comb patterns, v. App. ^ Hair-combs were also seen by 

* For the convenience of future Lapicque among the Semang of Ulu 

investigators passages that contain Selama. — Tour du Monde^ N.S., L 

statements requiring corroboration are (1895), 620. 


case upon three considerations — (i) the Disease or 
Diseases prevalent anywhere in the neighbourhood 
at the time of choice ; (2) those Diseases which are 
most dreaded at the time; and (3) the presence or 
otherwise of other women. 

[To understand this last consideration it must 
be remembered that according to Semang ideas 
the winds bring Diseases with them as punishment 
for any sins that Kari, the thunder-god, desires to 
avenge by their means. The Wind-demon, who is 
sent from Kari with this message, passes over the 
head of the person and deposits the Disease upon his 
(or her) forehead, from whence it spreads over the 
rest of the body. But the god Pie (" Play ") pacifies 
Kari and turns aside the punishments decreed by him, 
by giving the Semang a talisman that the winds dare 
not approach. If, therefore, a woman is protected by 
the correct form of magic comb, the Wind, on touching 
her head, encounters the scent of the " was " (the first 
or uppermost panel of the comb), and thereupon falls to 
the ground until the wearer of the comb has passed. 
If several women, each wearing a particular set of 
combs, are sitting or walking together, and a Disease 
comes in the name of Kari to punish one of them 
who is not wearing the protective comb pattern, yet 
so long as there is another woman close by who is 
wearing it, the first panel pattern of the latter will 
protect the former woman. Hence when several 
women are walking together they wear different combs 
for their mutual protection from different Diseases.] 

[The winds do not bring every kind or any special 
kind of Disease, though every Disease has a special 
wind as its messenger, and hence comes the necessity 
of varying first-panel (" was **) patterns. It is not as 

422 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

a rule the case that a " was " should especially avail 
against more than one particular kind of Disease, 
though many of these patterns to a lesser extent 
may avail against other Diseases as well. It does not 
therefore often happen (though it may sometimes do 
so) that a Semang cuts a first-panel pattern on a comb 
for any other than its specific purpose. It is said that 
the profusion of first-panel patterns which exists has 
arisen occasionally through their being changed by 
the magicians, who excused themselves on the above 
grounds whenever it happened.] On the whole, a 
Semang woman possesses as a rule from twenty to 
thirty magic combs, so that in an encampment in which 
there are several women a great number of patterns 
are present. The women lend each other their combs 
or omit to wear them as the case may be, especially 
when, e.g.y several of them are together, and one may 
be protected by the combs worn by the others. In 
the huts or shelters the combs are taken out of the 
hair and inserted between the slats of the roof. 

At night the combs are not worn. When a woman 
is buried all her combs are buried with her, so that 
the Diseases which have been warded off from her 
body during her lifetime may not hurt her soul when 
dead. The idea appears to be that the soul of the 
deceased should have the same protection secured to 
it that the living has possessed. 

In the ways above described, the encampment is 
sufficiently protected, as long as the Semang do not 
leave the place they are in. 

[Concerning the origin of the custom, the invariable 
explanation of the Semang is that the patterns of the 
magic comb were the invention of their god Pl€, 
and that the patterns employed were not borrowed 


from any other people ; and they add that in olden 
times the magic comb only possessed three teeth.*] 
The E. Semang or Pangan still make their combs with 
only four to five teeth to them, their sole instrument 
for carving the bamboo being a rough chopping-knife 
(*• parang '*), whereas the Semang of Perak (at Belum), 
who possess a better class of Malay knives, give their 
combs a dozen or even more than a dozen teeth.* 

At the different places at which it was asked, the 
question, "What is the use of the teeth .^" always 
received the same answer, viz. that the combs would 
soon fall out and be lost but for the long teeth, which 
were the only means of fastening them into the hair. 
The men, too, do not wear combs, because (as they 
allege) their hair is too short. Their talismans are, 
therefore, as stated above, incised on the quivers and 
charm-holders. [It was further alleged that in very 
ancient times the women also very often carried a 
special charm-tube, on which all the seventy Disease- 
charms were incised — in other words, a " gi *' of a form 
resembling that of the modern dart-quiver.* This 
special charm-holder was inserted in the loin-cloth or 
girdle, in the same way as the quivers now carried by 
the men. The modern girdle of the Semang men is 
said to be based on this old custom, whereas] the 
Sakai fasten on their quivers with special straps. It is, 
moreover, still the custom for the Semang quivers 
to lack any lid or covering ; for if a quiver (" g5* **) 
or charm -tube ("gi") had a cover, the charms 
being covered would therefore be powerless. The 

^ The suggestion is here made that and among the central Sakai, these 

the multiplicalion of the number of combs have fiEur more than three or four 

teeth in these combs may have been teeth, 

due to Sakai influence. Among Perak * Z,f,E. xxv. 75. 

Sakai who have Semang admixture, ^ See, however, p. 406, ante. 

424 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

"tahong"* of the women is a modified survival of 
this custom. [The comparative completeness of the 
traditions of the Semang with regard to their patterns 
was ascribed to the fact of these charm-tubes having 
contained specimens of all their forms.^] 

The Diseases against which the magic combs are of 
avail only attack women, and many of these are very 
largely the result of the imagination. [Diseases which 
attack both sexes are usually (since the women as a 
rule do not go far away from the men) arrested by the 
quiver and blowpipe patterns of the latter. On this 
account, the women do not as a rule use any quiver 
patterns, although they are not prohibited from 
doing so.*] 

The combs, as a rule, do not last long. The teeth 
easily break off, and the combs themselves are more 
liable to be lost than the quivers and charm-holders of 
the men. As, moreover, they are buried with the 
women when they die, there is always something for 
the young people to do and to learn. When they 
know the patterns of the quivers and charm-tubes, 
they are allowed to cut these for the men. But the 
men also cut other patterns as well as those of the 
quivers and charm-holders ; and the beautiful and 
accurately incised patterns of the combs are the work 
of men. The kind of bamboo most used for the 
manufacture of these combs is a very tall species which 
the Semang call ** semeng." The useless upper 
portion is cut off, that required for use well dried, 
and the process of making the comb then proceeds 
as follows : — 

A single internode is taken, and both knots (or 
" nodes ") are excised, so carefully as not to crack the 

» Cp. V. B, G, A. xxiv. 465 seqq, * » Z. /". E. xxv. 75. 


intemode. The cut edge is then most carefully 
smoothed, and, precaution being taken to see that the 
entire portion is sufficient for "two comb-lengths," 
the three double ring-lines are first incised twice 
each upon both sides of the tube. These lines serve 
not only to divide up the pattern, but themselves 
possess a certain amount of charm-power. They are 
produced by laying the edge of the chopper across the 
bamboo at right angles and rolling the latter along 
with the left hand. Sometimes these lines, it is true, 
are first incised separately on the surface of the comb 
after the splitting of the internode, but this was rarely 
the case, because it was then more difficult to make 
them parallel. The internode is now split into two 
separate parts of equal size, which are then split again 
into as many pieces as the bamboo allows. Large 
bamboo shafts will produce four or even six laminae, 
but smaller ones as a rule only yield three. The 
pattern is now incised with the point of the chopper and 
rubbed over with dry charcoal, a drop of water being 
added to rub it quite into the lines. The lamina is 
then heated over the fire and wax rubbed in with the 
help of bark-cloth or something of the kind, after which 
the lamina is wiped clean. The hot wax not only fills 
up the incisions of the pattern and fixes the powdered 
charcoal in them, but at the same time takes away all 
traces of the charcoal from the smooth, hard, unincised 
portions of the comb. 

The comb is now turned round and a deep furrow 
is cut on the back corresponding exactly to the lowest 
line of the pattern on the front, half the thickness of 
the bamboo being cut through and the gap widened 
from below. The woody part of the interior is 
then stripped off as far as this cross-cut, until 

426 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

the under part of the lamina is reduced by half 
throughout. Next, the comb is ^ain turned round, 
and from the front, at the bottom end, thin strips 
of the outer cuticle are torn in order to mark the 
interstices between which the teeth are to come. At 
the bottom of the pattern an incision is made to 
prevent these strips from tearing away and so spoiling 
the pattern ; these small incisions are then deepened, 
and the same process having been repeated at the 
back of the comb, the teeth are thus entirely released. 
It remains to polish the borders, to scrape away loose 
fibres, to point the teeth, and the comb is finished.* 

The process of incision is called " makeii " 
("makiee"), the comb "tin-leig," and the entire 
pattern "kenaij" (**kenije"), i.e. "drawing." The 
whole of the solid part of the comb is sometimes 
also called " was." ^ The old standards of measure- 
ment for these combs, though they are certainly now 
very little regarded, were : (i) for the teeth, a palm's 
breadth ("tappar"); (2) for the length of the solid part, 
from the upper extremity to the teeth, the length of 
the forefinger (" jayi ") ; (3) for the width of this same 
part the breadth of four fingers pressed together at the 
tips ("en-chas"). The teeth of the comb are called 
"mad," which in Semang either means "eye" or 
" blade." [The eight parts of the pattern on the solid 
part are named: — (i) first panel = " was"; (2) second 
panel = " paw€r " ("pawaire ") ; (3) third panel = 
" kabo' saleg " (" kabur salag ") ; (4) fourth panel = 
"kabe' padi" ("kabur padi"); (5) fifth or central 
panel = "tin-weg" or "tin-wag"; (6) sixth panel = 
"ning"; (7) seventh panel ="bie" ("beay"); (8) 
eighth panel = " nos." The top border or edge of the 

^ Z.f. E. XXV. 77-78. * See p. 397, «. I, ante. 

Z.f. E. x\v. Plate I. 

Charm-Patterns on Combs. 

oL /. /. 426. 

I'oi. I. p. 41' 7. 

Chakm-Pattkrns on Combs. 

Z./.E, XXV. Plate I i 




comb above the "was" (i) is called "tgpi," the 
bottom border below the eighth panel ("nos*') is 
called "mos."T 

Looking at the prevalent patterns of the first and 
second panels, it is easy to see that many of them are 
identical with or form parts of the patterns which 
represent the Disease in the fifth panel. [The ex- 
planation given was that when the charm patterns were 
being made, Pie wished, whilst assigning a pattern to a 
particular Disease, to make known at the same time 
what flower was blooming most freely when the 
Disease prevailed, and hence gave both a similar form. 
But when both the first and second panel patterns 

^ These names are in part certainly 
of Malay origin, and not pure Semang, 
e,g. (i) = MaL "tapak," a palmV 
breadth; (2)=MaL <*jari," a finger; 
' ' mad " may be connected, through Indo- 
Chinese, with Malay ♦* mata " = eye or 
blade of an instrument. So too ' ' kabo' 
saleg" (Mai. **salak") = fruit of the 
**salak».palm; "kibo' padi" (Mai. 
** padi ") = rice-fruit ; " t€pi " = Mai. 
" tdpi," edge. On the other hand, 
"ning," "bie," "nos" (?) = one, two, 
four (in Semang). 

The passage (Z,f.E. xxv.79 ) in which 
v. -St. defines his flower-theory (v, p. 
397) rtms as follows : — ** * Was ' and 
* pawer ' are the protecting designs, the 
power of which keeps off the sickness. 
•Pawer,' *kos,' and *t«pi' are 
parts of a flower, of which * was * is 
the smell, and *t6p!' the pistil and 
stamens, hence a supplementary line 
above a *w^' has the same name. 
The projecting spike above the green 
sepals is called 'pawer,' the sepals * mos.' 
To give the rest of the names: the 
flower it self is called *bakau,' the 
petals ' tapak * ; of a flower that has a 
sweet smell, * ber-pen-hat * (beer-pen- 
bat') is the word used by the Se- 
mang; if a disagreeable smell, 'hl- 
hid' (*hee-heed') is the word. Two 
distinct jungle flowers are now 

considered as 'jMlwer* — *Mo8,' 
really a kind of Ixora, which 
corresponds to the ' pawer,' and a 
flower called by iht Malays ' tetawar 
bintang,' or *star tetawar,' whose 
botanical name is not yet known, 
but which resembles the *mos.* 
All slight - scented flowers of the 
Ixora kind are called • pawer,' with 
the addition of a specific second name." 

On the forgoing tissue of errors I 
would remark that **tepi"isa pure Malay 
word ( = edge or border), and does not 
mean pistil or stamens, for which there 
is no name in Semang, nor could be. 

The "projecting spike" can only 
be the pbtil, which Vaughan-Stevens 
has already told us is called (with the 
stamens) * * tepi. " * * Pawer " and * * mos," 
on the other hand, are probably the 
names of flowers, not parts of a flower, 
as explained below. ** Bakau " = 
•* flower " in Semang = Mai. ** bunga," 
a *♦ flower" or ^'pattern,'' 

The drawing of the Ixora (given 
in Grtlnwedel's text) is, as he there 
states, a hypothetical one of the writer's, 
serving only to help to determine the 
technical expressions. 

As regards the plant "tetawar bin- 
tatig " (sic), which is certainly a blunder 
for ** tetawar (or * setawar ') bendang," 
see note to page 399, ante. 

428 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

were to be given an identical form, and confusion was 
probable, he introduced certain special signs called 
*' gghab " (" g'hab "), " kos," and '* ob." ^ No. 39. for 
example, shows in its central panel reversed duplicates 
of its first and second panel patterns, which in this 
case appear to be absolutely alike ; with this, however, 
should be compared the corrected sketch of this comb 
pattern in Fig. 8. [This is due to the fact that the 
"was" and "pawer" flowers bloom simultaneously, and 
the patterns for them are therefore almost identical.*] 

One reason for the numerous variations in these 
comb patterns consists in the fact that the patterns 
of the combs are mostly cut by young people instead 
of by the men, as in the case of the more correctly 
cut quiver and blowpipe patterns. But an error in 
the pattern does not, as a Pangan man said, take 
away the power of the comb. '' It is like a break or a 
hole in a bird-trap : the bird may slip throughy instead 
of falling into the trap^ but it is always a question 
whether it will see the hole'' ^ 

All the figures on the combs, with the exception of 
the first, second, and fifth panels, must in every case be 
of the simplest kind. They are derived as a rule from 
a first or second panel pattern, with the omission of the 
special marks. The young people who copy the combs 
often overlook this, and insert at the sides the first 
or second panel patterns in full. But the error is no 
worse than, e.g.y the writing of capital letters instead 
of small ones would be to a European.* 

As concerns the composition of the patterns, 

1 These names want corroboration. II.), 62 (PI. II.), 60 (PI. IV.), 21A 

See, for example, the combs num- (PI. III.), iF (PI. III.), lA (PI. I.), 

bcred 29 (PI. III.), 13B (PI. II.), lE (PI. I.). 13A (PI. II.), 12B 

4C (PI. I.), 4B (PL I.), 18B (PI. (PI. II.), 39 (PI. III.), 16B (PL II.). 

II.), 50 (PL IV.), 42 (PL IV.), 63 « Z.f,E. XXV. 77-79. 

(PL IV.), 21B (PL III.), 14A (PL »* lind. 

2.... ! 

... r 

(Fu;. 3.1 

[Fig. 2.] 

I- 'aughaH-Stei'€*is. 
Hypothetical Ixora Blossom and Comb (Figs. 2 and 3, Z./. E, xxv. 78) 


The serial numljcrs in Fig. 2 indicate the position of the various panels airrying patterns 
referred to in the text. 

I'oi. I. p. 438. 


there are strict rules for composing them all, whether 
combs, quivers, or charm-tubes ; these rules, however, 
are not easy to set forth ; in the first place, let us 
consider : — 

1. In what cases is a panel left free ? 

2. In what cases may the designer insert what 
patterns he pleases ? 

In the quivers the blank portion (or panel) is 
always in the central part of the bamboo tube, but in 
the case of the combs it must never come in the 
centre, where the most important part of the design 
is to go, but must be confined to the smaller panels. 
In many combs it is the first panel pattern that is 
omitted, in others it is any of the other panels (with 
the exception of the second). The full description of 
the combs (below) will not only show this, but will at 
the same time show where partial or entire quiver 
patterns may be inserted. In this latter respect it is 
left to the designer to decide what pattern he will use, 
and from whence he will take the design. He may 
take either entire or modified quiver or blowpipe 
designs, or even invent new ones, so long as he does 
not choose first or second panel patterns. 

The drawings and combs collected by Vaughan- 
Stevens are nearly all from the E. Semang or Pangan, 
and are all very typical specimens of the work of the 
east coast Negritos, though they are not all made by 
the men ; a single specimen was obtained from the 
Semang of Perak (PI. IV.), and two others were also 
collected on the west side of the Peninsula (see the 
last three combs on PI. IV.). 

[The reason why the patterns of the first, second, 
and central panels alone are specifically laid down, 
and not those of the remaining panels, lies in the 

430 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

feu:t (say the Pangan) that the women are not able 
to go far enough alone into the jungle, to seek any 
particular flower, when the Disease finds them without 
the appropriate comb. In such cases the woman looks 
for " was " or " pawSr '* flowers like those depicted on 
the comb, and takes the nearest match she can get. 
These, however, must not be the same as those for the 
quiver and charm-tube patterns, but may correspond 
to the third, fourth, and fifth panel of the comb. 
These plants, which are akin to those of the precise 
species desired, the woman deposits in a bamboo tube 
filled with water, and stirs them round to some extent 
in the water, and if she can likewise obtain the 
special " was " and '* paw€r " flowers, she adds these 
also and drinks the infusion. She then rubs the wet 
flowers on the affected part of her body before 
throwing them away.] 

In course of time certain flowers came to be 
looked on as having more healing power than others, 
and in consequence the patterns derived from them 
were preferred for wearing on the combs. This, 
however, is a matter of individual taste. 

[The fact is, that although the actually specified 
flowers would (it is believed) have effected an 
immediate cure, yet even the flowers most nearly 
related to them will eventually, though much more 
slowly, produce the desired result. If then, in panels 
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, for which no strict rules exist, a special 
sign is found, it is taken to indicate that the Sna-hut 
should be summoned in case the Disease should get 
too strong a footing. In former times, according to 
tradition, it was the special duty of the Sna-hut to 
see that the incised figures were correct, and from 
this Vaughan-Stevens concludes that the choice of 

^ ^ ^ ^ 

9 ir "^ 5 §^ k >^ ^ 




F^ SI 

^- »-. ^ "i ^ ^ i^ ^ 


the ground patterns was also left to them, so far as 
they had learnt them from the Putto,^ the servant 
of Pl€.] But now the people who cut the combs 
choose these patterns themselves, and learn to incise 
the quiver patterns.* 

In the case of the individual panels, the following 
observations may be made : — 

[Every separate sign repeated in the first panel 
pattern is called "was" also. A distinguishing 
stripe, either at the top or bottom of the panel (in the 
repetition of the first panel pattern) is called, as already 
stated, "gghab" ("g'hab") — see, for example, i8E = 
" kos " in the second panel pattern. When the first 
panel pattern is blank it is called "was picheg." Where 
and why these blank panels were introduced is not 
known now — " the Puttos have so arranged it " 
(see 60, 62).] If a supplementary line is introduced 
at the top of the first panel it is called "tgpi" or 
edge-line (see 8B). But this line appears on all the 
combs and also on all the quivers and charm -tubes ; 
though in very many cases it is not completed and 
coincides with the line of section. In certain cases 
this edge -line is represented by a broad, dark 
stripe. In other cases {e.g. on the quivers and charm- 
tubes) it comes between the first panel pattern and 
the edge of the comb, and is, naturally, clear and 

^ Cp. Vaoghan-Stevens, iil iii. (2) Combs which possess a blank 

* • Z,f, E. XXV. 81. The combs first panel, ^.^. Nos. iB, 20A, 20D, 53. 

with these clearer edge-lines are — (3) Combs which have blank panels 

(I) Some combs which possess in one or several parts (other than the 

common signs, but which were thus "was'*), €,g. in their third panels 

selected and grouped by the Puttos (*' kabo' saleg "), etc ; for the second 

without any known reason for their panel and the fifth are never simul- 

being thus treated. These combs are taneously omitted from the comb. 

Nos. iC, 8C, 9B, 12C, 1 4 A, 20G, These combs are Nos. 3 A, 3B, 3C, 7C, 

22A, 26, 33, 39, 54. 8B, 18B, 19O, 23, 29, 32A, 50, 60, 62. 

432 DECORATIVE ART part u 

Second Panel (or ''Pdwer'')} 

[When the second panel pattern is covered over 
with a number of like figures, each figure is called 
** yil-toij." If a specially distinctive element is intro- 
duced into one or several *' yil-toij," such a mark is 
called *• 'ziat " (see, for example, F19). 

If a distinguishing stripe is introduced either 
above or below the panel in question {e.g. at 7C), 
such a stripe is called " kos,*' and serves as a token. 
This token, however, appears on but few combs 
(i7A, 19M, 22D, 28B). It may be at the top, bottom, 
or either side. The three lines shown in the remain- 
ing panels of 19M are due to an error of the cutter's.] 

As already stated, there are combs which lack both 
first and second panel patterns, but which are never- 
theless of avail against the approach of fatal Diseases. 

The *' Palm-fruit " and other Panels. 

[When the third, fourth, sixth, seventh, and eighth 
panels are covered with repetitions of a single separate 
figure, each of these figures is called " yil-toij " ; if 
they are covered with a single figure which cannot be 
subdivided, but which is of avail for the whole, it is called 
** ken " (see No. 61). Panel eight (" nos ") is bounded 

Nos. 8C, 9B, 12C, 14A, 22A, 26, «*kapal," 56 "ingkcng," 64 "sand," 

33 of the first series possess a broad 65 "mankuing,""munlong,"66"tel," 

and black " edge "-line, which extends 67 "bahu," "bahur," 68 "challag," 69 

from the first panel to the uppermost "hillog,** 70 "ballur," 25C "lanes."* 

border of the comb. The outer cuticle These combs have no " was " or ** yil- 

of the bamboo is pared off in order to toij," except Nos. 25C and 25D, wtiidi 

blacken it with charcoal ( * « chen-el-us '*) have a * * 3dl-toij " sign above and below it 

["us "is evidently the word for fire]. respectively in order to distinguish them 

There appears to be some unwritten from A and B of these numl^rs. The 

law as to the width of this blackened Disease expelled by 2 5 A, 25B may 

portion, which also appears on the perhaps be fatal, but that prevented 

blowpipe patterns. Cp. p. 437, infra, by 25D and 25C is certainly fatal if 

^ Z, f, E, XXV. 8x. Nos. 25D the combs are not worn. 

Charm- Patferns on Combs. 

Z./,E, XXV. Plate II 

I'ol. I. p. 432- 


Z,/. R. XXV. Plate IV 

/ ol. I. p. 433. 


by an imaginary line of juncture between the teeth and 
the solid part of the comb. The lowest of the ring- 
lines comes above the eighth panel.^] 

The Central Panel (" Tin-weg''). 

[The patterns for the various Diseases primarily 
represent the affected part of the body ; when different 
parts of the body are affected the patterns are com- 
bined, but the exact rules which determine the 
method of composition are forgotten. Only this is 
certain, that in cases where the **was*' or "pawer*' 
flowers (in the case of any particular Disease) are of 
especial value for healing purposes, only repetitions 
of the same pattern appear on the comb, and no 
others. If the central panel shows a pattern which 
covers the entire panel from left to right, it is 
called "makeii" (**makiee*') — see, for example, 9B. 
If, however, panel five is covered with a row of 
repeated figures (as in 19B), each separate figure 
or emblem is called "sumpid."^ If the fifth panel is 
covered with an unrepeated pattern which entirely 
covers the solid part of the comb, it is called " ne- 
ning"* — see, for example, 68. Any special sign in 
one of the central panels, or the " sumpid," etc., is 
called *' ob." The figures delineated in the plate are 
the accepted emblems representing various parts of 
the human anatomy, which appear in the patterns of 
the central panel.*] 

* Z,f,E, XXV. 82. It is, heace, of Vaughan-Stevens, =Mal. "sumpit," 
clear that the diagram given to illus- or ** sumpitan," a blowpipe. 

trate these remarks on p. 78 of the ' In the original spelt «*neningk," 

Zeitschrift is incorrectly drawn, and an impossible spelling in Semang. All 

that the double line below the eighth these terms lade corroboration, 

panel should be deleted. * Z. /. E, xxv. 83. 

* Sic^ qtMtre " sumpit,'* a confusion 

VOL. I 2 F 

434 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

Other Emblems} 

[The emblem representing the square Q is called 
**chenewel," that of the diamond <^ "ehut." The 
triangle A is called *' leasing " (which is translated 
by the Malay ** dahulu," ** long ago " or '* overpast "). 
The circle O is called **nai" ("ni"), i.e. "one" or 

** first/' The straight line ( ) is called ** pejuag," 

unless it is carried across the entire solid part of the 
comb, when it is called ** win-yuing '* (" winyooeng "). 
An emblem formed by two curved incisions or 
ring-lines which run parallel to each other across the 
solid part of the comb is called ** Snghongye " ^ 
(•* ng-her-'ngyay ") ; a dot ( ' ) is called **pawor"; a 
short stroke ( — ) " bing " ; '* pawor *' was formerly 
the E. Semang (Pangan) expression for both of 
these signs, and **bing" an expression introduced 
from the west coast of the Peninsula in order 
to distinguish the one from the other. Both signs 
have an identical significance. Diagonal hatching 
is called *'chenass," rectangular "sud." Between 
straight parallel strokes and curved strokes ZI ^ S 
no difference is made. They are all called "sud." 
So, too, any kind of sloping diagonal lines, whether 
straight or otherwise, /// ((( ))), are called " chenass."] 

[The signs for different parts of the human body, 
referred to above, include representations of the 
following parts of the anatomy : — 

(i) The head, (2) the eyes, (3) the nape of the 
neck, (4) the breast, (5) the stomach, (6) the back, 
(7) the side, (8) the nose, (9) the breasts, (10) the 
upper and lower jaws (with teeth), (11) [wanting], (12) 
the forehead, (13) the hand, (14) the fingers or toes, 

^ Z,f.E, XXV. 84. personal pronoun. These terms are 

2 «« Ye " may stand for the first all uncorroborated. 


KiG. 5. 

A B C 

A B C 

Fig. 6. 
CokRKCTiON OF lNAf:f:uRATK DRAWINGS (Figs. 5 and 6, /./. £ xxv. 85). 

^o- O X A II 4f C^ 
•*>!< Tiv.;: ".^ "> :^ *) -^c^ ^vjf. 

Alleged Representation of Parts of the Body. 

(Kor explanations sec text.) 

rol. i. f. 414. 


(15) the joints (elbows or knees), (16) the hips, (17) 
the shoulders, (18) vagina and penis, (19) the anus, 
(20) the arms, (21) the ribs (seen from the back), 
(22) the ribs (seen from the front).^ 

Dotted lines ( ) or lines of dashes ( ) 

are only used to distinguish one ordinary figure from 
another which otherwise would be exactly like it.] 

Cross-hatching (''dtn^y 

[Cross-hatching (on combs) has a threefold meaning. 
In the representations of flowers it indicates a pro- 
tuberance or "knobby" formation. In the case of 
combs which have their central panel cross-hatched 
(eg. that of No. 25 B) the cross-hatching indicates a 
protuberance of great size, in this case a hill (!), the 
individual lines of the pattern being said to represent 
pathways upon it. In the **sumpits" ("sumpid") or 
repeated Disease-patterns this cross-hatching typifies 
the swelling or inflammation which the Disease in 
question has caused. The cross-lines may be either 
horizontal or at right angles to the line bordering 
the figure (Fig. 5, A, B), In the case of a curve, 
however, the cross-lines slope downwards from right 
to left (C). When the figure is formed by three 
parallel lines the cross-lines intersect the central 
line of the three (D). In certain cases, whether the 
pattern is drawn large or small, the number of these 
cross-lines must be counted. These cases, however, 
will again be referred to in the course of the descrip- 
tions of particular combs.] 

[As examples to show how necessary it is that 
the patterns should be cut as exactly as possible, 

^ But these signs rarely occur where and the whole of this part of the Sj^tem 
we might expect them in patterns con- recalls the European investigator. See 
nected with parts of the human body, Appendix. ^ /did. 


and how the similarity of the combs to one another 
might be exaggerated through inexactness, see Nos. 
32 B, 22C. The patterns of the third, fourth, and sixth 
to eighth panels are unimportant, since their selection 
was optional on the part of the designer, but the first 
panel pattern in 22C (Fig. 6) is absolutely wrong. ^] 

Private Marks? 

[The combs are always said to have once possessed 
a particular name-mark in the seventh panel (" bie "). 
This mark, however, is not to be confused with the 
special signs, which may appear only in the patterns 
of the first, second, and central panels, but must 
be omitted in the next panel. The name -mark 
naturally has no influence on the power of the 
pattern. At the present day they very seldom appear, 
and when they do, are inserted in the third, fourth, 
and sixth to the eighth panels, and are called ** chor " 
or " name "-marks. 

Among all the combs represented below® there 
is not a single specimen so marked. The marks 
naturally differ with each individual, and whenever 
a similarity of name-marks appears it is only through 
some misunderstanding of the pattern copied, or 
through some sign that has been wrongly transferred.] 


Besides the charm-patterns on the combs of the 
Pangan women, a corresponding system of charm - 
patterns is employed by the men. These are incised 
upon bamboos (" gO* " and ** ga' "), one of which is the 

I Z, /. E, XXV. 84. At (a) the ^ Z. f, E, xxv. 8$. 

left-hand side-line, and at {b) the third ' Cp., however, Vaughan - Stevens, 

cross-line is missing, and at {c) the side- iii. s.v. And for detailed list of combs, 

lines do not meet. The first-panel pattern v. App. 
of 32B is a different flower from 22C. * Preuss in Z.f» E. xxxi. 131-147. 


Semang quiver, and the other is described as a 
charm-holder (with patterns corresponding to those 
now seen on the blowpipe), which is said to have 
been formerly carried by the men. 

[The Puttos ^ gave the Semang (in return for their 
presents) certain sticks (charred at one end and 
bearing mysterious signs upon them), which protected 
the wearers from particular Diseases, when held with 
the charred end downwards. For this purpose they 
were inserted in the waist -cord. Originally the 
patterns were marked out with charcoal ; but later 
they were incised, when the same material (charcoal) 
was rubbed into the incisions.^ 

By degrees light bamboo tubes, which received 
the name " ga'," were found more convenient. Instead 
of charring the end, the Pangan peeled off the smooth 
outer cuticle, and then blackened it with charcoal, 
which adhered better in consequence.] This lower 
extremity, with its node or knot, was called " chen- 
el-us." ' Both ends, in fact, were thus peeled, although 
the upper node was cut off after a few days.* The in- 
cised patterns were cut into the bamboo while it was 
still green, usually after it had been held for a few 
moments over a fire, to facilitate the cutting. If, on 
the other hand, the cuticle is not removed from the 
tube-ends, the latter would often split in the course 
of a few days ; though this is not the case with the 
blowpipe shafts, which are relatively stronger and have 

* Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 1 3 1 , is taken * * dekan "), was used for incising bamboo 
as read in what follows. before iron was known. For lists zr. App. 

* According to another passage, the ' Cp. p. 431, n, 3, anie^ and see 
designs were in the first instance in- Z./. E, xxv. 82, and note, 

cised on the bamboos and rubbed over * The (Berlin) Museum possesses a 

with charcoal. The Semang assert charm -tube (**gar") of Vaughan- 

that often, instead of a knife, the tooth Stevens, which exhibits the upper 

of a bamboo-rat, or " om " (Malay (peeled) node as well. 

438 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

a smaller bore. To make it more portable, the tube 
(" %^ ") was of small diameter, and several tubes were 
often carried at the same time, one fitting into the 
other. They served at the same time to contain the 
flowers and herbs that were required for warding off 

The quivers (" go* "), which are closely related to 
the charm-holders (**ga' "), were cut and carried in the 
same way, only the charm -tube was usually carried 
in the quiver, which latter was the larger of the two. 

When they adopted the blowpipe of the Sakai, 
the Semang kept their darts in the *' g5'," ^ instead of 
adopting the highly specialised Sakai quiver — the 
Semang still retain a strong dislike to carrying any- 
thing slung around the hips.^ This is the reason why 
the darts are so much shorter than the quiver* con- 
taining them, Le. because it was once used for another 
purpose. The Sakai quiver had a soft wooden bed 
at the bottom to receive the dart-points, and for this (in 
the " g5* *') the magic leaves and flowers were substi- 
tuted. The Sakai quivers had a cap to protect the 
contents from rain ; but the Semang were prevented 
from covering the orifice, [because the effect of the 
magic flowers would in that case have been neutralised. 
But on the introduction of the blowpipe, the patterns, 
which (up to that time) had been incised upon the 
charm-holders, were transferred to the shorter portion 
(** yoh ") of the inner tube of the blowpipe. But 
although the lower part of the pattern (corresponding 
to the ** chenel-us " or charred end of the charm-tube) 

* Cf, Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 131. "Quivers for blowpipe arrows." 

* The proper name for the quiver is ^ Cf. Z,f, E, xxv. 75. 

"go*," or "goh," which latter is De * Le, 28 to 30 cm. against the 35 

Morgan's word for quiver ("carquois"); to 45 cm. of the quivers (without the 
cp. Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 171, under knot). 


was occasionally more or less covered over by the 
resin that coated the muzzle-end, the virtue of the 
charm was not impaired thereby. 

It was evident at once that many of the patterns 
on the charm-holders (" ga' "), which were originally 
designed for a bamboo of larger diameter, did not 
suit the reduced area available for them in the blow- 
pipe. The muzzle part of the latter, therefore, was 
shortened to correspond with the design. 

The patterns now constructed are of varying 
length (as in Figs. 113, 114, 121, etc.), and further 
ring-lines are either added at the muzzle-end, or are 
omitted entirely ; even their pattern is varied. The 
blackened muzzle -end of the blowpipe was soon 
either altogether omitted or replaced by a band of 
varying width, formed by stripping the bamboo of its 
outer cuticle and smearing it with charcoal.^ It is 
still to be seen in many specimens between the main 
design and the muzzle-end.] 

The general irregularities of design extend even 
to the East Semang or Pangan. The Kensiu, 
Kinta, Bong, and Belum tribes of the west coast 
have added designs of their own to the old patterns, 
and employ them merely as a form of decoration, bojjh 
for the blowpipes and the dart-quivers that accom- 
pany them. [Many patterns of the charm-holders could 
not be adapted to the blowpipe tube, and hence were 
retained for the charm-tubes only. The same patterns 
were never employed in both sets, and hence the two 
sets (of charm-tube and blowpipe patterns) must be 
combined to form a complete series.] 

^ See illustrations. The order in to Yi. Then come (3) the blowpipe 

which they are arranged is as follows : patterns from i to 128, where 66A is 

— ( I ) Quivers and chaim-tubes inter- inserted. The arrangement is that of 

mixed from A to Z, and (2) from Ai Vaughan-Stevens himself. 

440 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

Classification of the Patterns ('* Go' " and " Ga' '')} 

The patterns of the quivers and charm-holders 
usually present such considerable divergencies (as 
compared with the combs) that there can be no 
question of dividing their patterns into chief panels 
(first and second) and subsidiary panels, as could be 
done with the combs. In the first place, their central 
or Disease - patterns, when identifiable as such by 
reason of their special size, are sometimes exactly the 
same (as appears in the case of Nos. 30, 54, 6i, Ni, 
N2, and N3 ; Oi and O4; O2 and O3). The central 
Disease -patterns of these quivers and charm -tubes 
bear, it is true, identical names, but it is against 
different forms of the same Disease that they are 
employed. In the combs, again, any such varieties 
were always strictly separated when indicated in the 
design. In the second place, the central panels, apart 
from their size, are not invariably identical either for 
all (**go\" O3) or several panels (quiver Di, blow- 
pipe No. 51) of the same pattern, not to mention 
the smaller panels of other patterns. Moreover, 
very characteristic patterns sometimes occur even 
in the smaller panels (Oi, Ri). In the third place, 
we may note — and this is for the present the most 
important item — that the two panels in the same tube 
(corresponding to the first and second panels of the 
combs) are in many quivers and charm-tubes identical 
(O3, T2). They are also sometimes identical in 
different tubes {e.g. Nos. 30 and 36 ; 54 and 71). 

[Lastly, there are (apart from the central patterns 
and the first and second panels) special designs that are 

* In original " gor " and ** gar." Taken from Preuss in Z./. E, xxxi. 191-195 
seqq. For lists of the patterns, v, App. 


never repeated throughout the entire range of the charm 
patterns {e,g. Nos. 36, 66, 1 24, 1 ). The first and second 
panels so insisted on do not, therefore, possess the 
least advantage over the others. The aforesaid varia- 
tions from the comb patterns receive considerable 
emphasis (in spite of the general similarity of the 
arrangement in both cases) as soon as one takes the 
patterns in which the central panel, being of the same 
size as the rest, cannot therefore be distinguished with 
certainty. The above -described patterns almost all 
belong to Class lA (see above) ; and the following 
come partially under I A, but mainly under ID, which 
might be expected to exhibit more or less similar 
patterns in all the panels. Hence we can maintain 
with certainty that, even if it were admitted that the 
patterns on the tubes contained flower- designs (in 
addition to the Diseases there represented), they 
are not at all events based upon the system employed 
for the combs.^ Moreover, it is certain that this 
logical system is not primitive,^ but is the result 
of a development at which, from the endlessly varied 
patterns of the tubes, we can perhaps guess, but 
of which scarcely any stages can be clearly deter- 

[It is well known that the Semang hold that the 
tubes with mere ring-lines (quivers A, B, and C ; 
blowpipe No. 50) take precedence of all tube 
patterns as a foundation for the arrangement of 
the charm patterns by the Puttos. The original 

^ It is quite incomprehensible why that Vaughan-Stevens occupied himself 

Vaughan-Stevens, even in the tube with the comb patterns Brst, and found 

patterns, should hold so strictly to the a solution of them tolerably satisfactory 

system of "was" and ** pawer," as it to himself. — Note by Preuss [loc. cit,), 
is impossible that he should have heard ^ There is, I think, no doubt that 

anything positive about them from the the logic of the system was introduced 

Semang. The only explanation is by Vaughan-Stevens. 

442 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

form of these designs is said to be the charm on 
the arrow - quivers against lightning (see p. 400).] 
The quivers in the Berlin Museum usually show 
from five to seven triple ring-line groups, just about 
equi-distant from one another; where there are six 
groups there is often a wider space left in the 
centre (see Illustrations). Apart from the number of 
groups, these two kinds correspond in fact to the 
commonest arrangement of the panels on the tubes 
and combs, and even quivers D and E might be 
here reckoned. Even a simple ring-line group, pos- 
sessing no specific import, acts as a general charm 
against Diseases (quivers B, C). There then follow 
single and double hatchings within the groups of 
ring-lines, the panels themselves being left vacant 
(quivers G, Mi to M3, blowpipe No. 50, etc.). 
Lastly, the same simple figure may occur in all panels 
or in the second panel of any particular pattern 
(quivers I, O3, Ti, blowpipes 33, 47, 49, etc.). This 
fact may remind us either of the charcoal stripes 
with which sick persons bedaub the diseased parts 
of their body in order to recover, or the special 
signs which the Puttos employed in like fashion 
(see above), and which may be regarded as forming 
the series of ring-lines, which appear to be greatly 
multiplied here, without any clear object. As 
soon, however, as the work of differentiating the 
patterns of particular panels is approached, our 
difficulties begin, as positive data are completely 
wanting, and no panel (with the exception of the 
middle one) is in any way more prominent than the 

The undivided patterns intended as charms against 
serious Diseases, which cover the whole tube, seem 


to make it certain that the simple signs have always 
been accompanied by the complicated representations 
of Disease. These two extremes — simple ring-lines 
and complicated designs — form the foundation of the 
subsequent development. 

[Only with regard to the occasional Semang practice 
of inserting a pattern in the centre panel and leaving 
the rest free, a conjecture may perhaps be offered. 
The centre panel, like the original scheme of the 
ring-lines on the arrow -quiver, is generally indis- 
tinguishable from the other panels in respect of its 
size (not to mention the blowpipes, where the design 
is generally much crushed together). It is also often 
quite indistinguishable from the rest in respect of 
the special import attached to the general pattern. 
It is therefore quite possible that its size, even when 
unusually large, is not of any special import, and 
that it was only at a later stage that it was reserved for 
the chief Disease-pattern, as indeed we find to be 
the case to some extent in the tubes and uniformly in 
the combs. One stage of its development appears 
to be marked by a simple yet specialised central 
pattern, to which other panels (with pairs of incised 
lines) are added at the top and bottom (see, e.g., Ni 
to N3, Oi, Ri, R2, T2, Nos. 29, 30, 36, 51, etc.). 

Again, in the description of the patterns emphasis 
is often laid on the fact that the size of the vacant 
centre panel is a matter of entire indifference. In the 
blowpipes (as has been said) it is usually so crushed 
together that a group is formed of the ring-lines which 
serve as boundaries, and the alleged importance of the 
size of the centre panel appears to be a mere fancy. 
On the other hand, its separating effect is always 
recognised and never forgotten, even though a 

444 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

particular pattern may be no longer distinguishable 
from one with the incised centre panel. Now Vaughan- 
Stevens in one place says that patterns with vacant 
centre panel prevail against epidemics, and further, 
that epidemics in the drawings are expressed by two 
complete and undivided patterns, separated from each 
other by ring-lines, the upper design being intended 
to protect the men, and the lower the women. The 
examples cited — 96, 97, 10 1, 105, 109 — all belong to 
group IB,^ and therefore possess a blank centre 
panel. It is only with respect to one specimen 
(quiver H2) that any further explanation is required, 
as in the quivers the large centre panels are not com- 
pressed to the vanishing point. It may be conjectured 
that these blank centre panels in every case are only 
intended to separate the men's and women's patterns 
from one another, but that in certain cases (as in that 
of an epidemic which attacks men and women alike), 
when it was not thought necessary to cut special comb 
patterns for the women, the purpose was remembered. 
In fact there is actually a quiver (Wi) with an empty 
centre panel, purporting to protect men and women 
alike from a Disease common to both of them.* 

The following are the considerations which lead 
us to this conclusion. Vaughan-Stevens says * that the 
Diseases which may attack both sexes are, since the 
women as a rule are not far from the men, warded off 
by the patterns of the men's quivers and blowpipes. 
Hence the women, as a rule, do not employ any quivers 
as charms, although there is no rule against it. We 
see, however, that the charms against epidemics, and 
indeed even the charm on quiver W i , contained sepa- 
rate and varying charm patterns both for men and 

> Z,f.E. xxxi. p. 152. 2 /^. p, ,71. Quiver Wi. » Z,f,E, xxv. 75 f. 


women on the same quiver. We also see that varieties 
of quivers F and G are allotted to the women by way 
of compensation for the fact that they have their 
seventy main Disease -patterns (not reckoning the 
varieties) on their combs, and that these latter only 
include the Diseases which may attack them alone. 
Should we not then infer that men and women as a 
rule have always had different patterns for Diseases 
common to both? for it is scarcely to be supposed 
that the seventy, or perhaps one hundred and forty, 
Diseases of the women should be all absolutely diffierent 
from those of the men {cf, quiver H). So the patterns 
of the quivers and blowpipes, if they were to be 
efficacious for both sexes at the same time, must 
possess two patterns, and these would be the tubes 
with the centre panel left blank. In this connexion 
quivers H and O are especially striking. In quivers 
F, G, and H the pattern is called **hu-ju-weg.'* 
Quivers F and G possess no dividing centre panel, 
and have special quiver patterns for the women. 
Quiver H has not got it, and therefore shows the 
division alleged above. Quiver O has an empty 
centre panel, with exactly the same pattern at top and 
bottom, though in reverse order.^] 

Even, however, if this idea is right, it does not 
help to make the signification of the patterns any 
more comprehensible. The comb designs would, 
however, appear to be an imitation of the men's 
quiver patterns, with a broad incised centre panel. 
[The signification of the latter was said to be ex- 
plained by the patterns of the ancient **gi." The 

1 The patterns of the tubes are never only exception. It is a simple pattern, 

directed against Diseases which by their Thus no proof of the point at issue 

nature can only attack the man. Si (apart from quiver Si) is possible in 

against disease of the testicles forms the this direction. 

446 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

first and second panel patterns were new additions, 
and the other (narrow) panels were taken over as 
mere meaningless additions to the patterns of the men. 

There do not appear to be any fundamental 
differences in the outer arrangements of the quivers, 
charm-tubes, and blowpipes. The alleged reduction 
of the charm -tube patterns on the blowpipes may 
show that the omission of particular panels did not 
have much effect. Classes IE and IF of the blow- 
pipe patterns are of special importance, since, in 
contrast to the quivers and charm -tube patterns, 
they exhibit entire panels, and even entire designs, 
merely filled up with dotted figures. It might be 
inferred from this that after the charm-tube patterns 
were transferred to the blowpipes a fresh evolution of 
patterns took place.] In the blowpipe drawings we do 
not find spirals instead of the ring-lines, as in the case 
of the quivers and charm-tubes. 

The names of the tube patterns do no more to help 
their interpretation than those of the first, second, and 
fifth comb panels (" tin-weg," " was," and " pawer "). 
In four of the names of the quivers and charm-tubes 
(N, S, Vi, Xi) are to be found expressions for certain 
parts of the body (the Diseases affecting which, 
according to Vaughan- Stevens, are supposed to be 
warded off by means of the patterns). Sometimes, 
however (besides the name of the pattern), the actual 
name of the Disease itself is given, and one of these 
Disease titles (Pi) actually refers to the affected part 
of the body. Moreover, the name for quivers D and 
E ("lasai") must (according to Vaughan -Stevens) be 
derived from the black ring-lines of the design ; and, 
besides, the patterns, which possess the same name 
and ward off similar sicknesses, in some cases are of 


identical form, but not unfrequently are entirely 
different (see quivers Ii and I2, Li and L2, etc.). On 
the other hand, the almost identical patterns of quivers 
Ci and C2, which are both evidently directed against 
a similar Disease, have quite different names.^ These 
contradictory observations may be taken to prove that 
the names of the quiver and charm-tube patterns must 
have been strung together from conflicting sources. 
Among the names of the blowpipe patterns occurs 
"pong," which Vaughan- Stevens (as in the case of 
comb I ^) translates " fever." Whether the other 
names which are not translated also denote Diseases 
must remain undecided. Every pattern here has a 
special name. There are, indeed, many points of con- 
nection with Professor Grlinweders glossary ; but in 
the entire absence of more definite knowledge as to 
their meaning it is not worth while to follow them up.^ 

* Cf, also the names and patterns of (blowpipe 39), cf, ** pelig " (comb 11) ; 
<'goh," Ki and K2. "pen-al-dung" ("pcn-ul-doorng," 

* Z./. E. XXV. 87. blowpipe 30), cf, **pena-long" (**pena- 
' Oat of the five categories men- long," second panel of 15 A, etc.); 

tioned, the frequent complete agreement ** sob ** (quiver C2), cf, ** sob " (second 

of names, without their patterns betray- panel of 50H, etc.); "tak-kor" 

inganyspedal similarity, is very striking. (**tukkor," blowpipe 92), cf, "te- 

They run as follows :— ** altcg " (blow- kor " (" tukkor," comb 60) ; " tls " 

pipe 32), cf, "alteg" (second panel of (blowpipe 35), cf. "tls" (quiver Ci) ; 

comb 49) ; **bil-uing" (blowpipe 78), *'cheg-la(r)pun" (blowpipe 5), if, 

cf, "biling" ("billing," second panel "chig-la" ("chiglar," comb 52); 

of 19N, etc); "buing" ("boing," " chel - chinin " ("chel chineng," 

blowpipe 74), cf, "boin" (first panel quiver Q2), cf, "chin-eng" (**chin- 

of 30), "boing" (second panel of 17B, eng," second panel, 22C, etc.) ; "toig 

etc.); "hili" ("hillee," charm-tube keling," quiver Ni), cf, "tu-eg" 

Z), cf, "heli" ("hnee," comb 63); (blowpipe 24). 

**Is" (blowpipe 81), cf "Is" (second Other names agree with the ex- 
panel of comb lE) ; "let-tud" ("let- pressions for the "gu*" (v. p. 104 f.). 
tod," quiver P2), cf "let-tod" (first "jelabor" (blowpipe 30), cf. "jelabo" 
panel of 7C. etc); "lig-boid" ("lig- (*« jelabor," "gu'," I21, a mythical 
boid," blowpipe 89), "lig-bui" ("lig- animal); " kang-kung " (blowpipe 98), 
boi," blowpipe 75), cf. "lig-boig" if. "kangkung" ("gu'," I20, a 
(secondpanelof 16A, etc.); "pa-ham" mjrthical monster) ; " k21i-char " (comb 
<" pa-hum") (blowpipe 56), cf, **pa- 62), cf "klichar" ("gu'," III3, IV, 
hom" ("pa-herm," second panel of iF, a flower) ; "sinai tepis" ("seni tepees," 
etc); "pasir" (blowpipe 12), r/i"pasir" blowpipe 117), cf, "sinei" ("seni," 
(first panel of 12A, etc); "pelTg" " gu*," I4, a rattan whip). 

448 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

This list might no doubt be considerably increased 
if parts of the various expressions were compared. 
In the complete absence, however, of Semang texts 
(and hence of any knowledge of their grammar) this 
partial agreement would not at present count for much. 
It may, however, be concluded from the above list 
that the names of the quivers, charm-tubes, blowpipes, 
and combs must be taken in close relationship with 
those of the first and second panels, so that the flower- 
symbolism of these patterns appears all the more 
mysterious and obscure. 


[The **gu* " is a bamboo tube which is described as 
having served originally for preserving records of every 
description, and as having been in the first instance 
known only to the Puttos. The entire mythology 
(and history.'^) of the Semang is said to have been 
engraved upon them, and some of these remarkable 
records yet remain in the possession of the descendants 
of the ancient Sna-huts. These same bamboo tubes 
served, apart from their mythological significance, to 
contain the magical and medicinal implements of the 
Puttos, and were accordingly plugged at the orifice 
with wood or bark-fibre. The four myth-bamboos 
here described come from the E. Semang or Pangan 
on the east coast of the Peninsula.^] 

* The word **gu*" is undoubtedly hoot," ** k'ngoin," **lee-eg,'* "aiee," 

identical with the word "go"' (in **ken-ach6le," " pinjor tadook," 

some dialects **gu*") which we have **Kiee," ** Play," **Chinnoi," **ke- 

had already, and merely signifies, as nigh," "kelos," **sem," "kabote," 

explained above, a bamboo receptacle. "jug," "Chilleg," ** Jelabor," "Cham- 

The names which here occur were spelt par," ** Challog," ** Semi," ** sin-goie- 

by Vaughan-Stevens as follows : " Guh " bewar," etc. 

(pronounced " goo "), "Puttow," **Sna- * Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 104. 


Bamboo No. i with incised Mythological Designs} 
Length of the original 45 cm, 

1. The "lotong " monkey ("aii" = Semnopithecus), 

2. " Penjok taduk." 

3. *' Kenaij '* (" kenigh " sic, ? " kgnaii "). 

4. **Seni;^ 

5. '' Jag/' 

6. "Kelos." 

7. Kari, the Thunder-god. 

8. Simei. 

9. Pie. 

10. Sna-hut, 

11. " Kla-tO-ong." 

12, 13. " Sin-goi b€w5 " or " kampil." 

14, 15. "Chileg langwa." 

1 6, 17. ** Sin-goi bawa " or ** kampil. 

18. Kari's throne and " kalcheng. 

19. "Kanteh." 

20. " Kangkung.*' 

21. ^'jeiabo'." 

22. '* Kangkeng." 

23. "Champa'." 

24. Champa's spear. 

25. **Chalog." 

26. Chalog's spear. 

This bamboo is subdivided by the usual ring-lines.^* 

The topmost panel contains an unfinished drawing 

of a monkey called **aii" (Malay "lotong"), for 

^ Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 107-124. the holes are sealed with resin, but 

* When a spiral is substituted for these holes, of course, are entirely 

these ring-lines, it is called **li-eg." devoid of significance (see Z. /. E, 

In some cases the **gu's" have been xxv. (1893) 71 seqq, 
gnawed into by mice, in which case 

VOL. I 2 G 

450 DECORATIVE ART part n 

which see Bamboo 3, but why this figure was left un- 
finished is unknown. 

The second panel is called " kSnachol " (** ken- 
nachole"), this name denoting, however, the panel 
itself and not the figures inscribed upon it. The 
figures in each panel will be taken from right to 
left, beginning with Fig. 2. This figure and those 
following represent objects which hang above the 
judgment throne of the Thunder-god Kari (**Kiee" = 
** Kayi '')} The Semang call this figure (No. 2) 
**penjok taduk.'* The first word means loin-cloth, 
and the second " pendant flower decorations." 

It is difficult to explain exactly what is meant by 
the expression, unless it may either be taken to 
signify loin-cloth and flower-pendants (the con- 
junction being omitted, as is so frequently the case in 
these dialects), or unless the ** taduk " may be some 
unknown or fabulous material, in accordance with the 
explanation given to Vaughan-Stevens.* Kari alone 
(according to the Semang) makes use of this material, 
which, like everything else he possesses, is prepared 
by the Chin-oi (** Chinnoi "), a race of people who 
never die. 

The object represented by Fig. 3 is called by the 
Pangan " kenaij " (** kenigh " }), a term which is of 
uncertain meaning. In the case of the women's 
combs, it denotes the representation of the Disease 
against which the charm pattern is devised, but it 
was also applied to anything bright and glittering, 
e.g. a sunrise or sunset, lamps, rings, and even 
provision tins! It does not seem to mean "light- 

^ This god, who is himself portrayed play a large part in the traditionary 

by Fig. 7, is the chief deity or Thunder- accounts of Malay regalia, and this 

god of the E. Semang or Pangan. may be the case with the Semang too ; 

* Fabulous objects and materials V.-St. iii. io6; z/. pp.455, 511, injra. 








.-■ c 


ning," however, for the usual Semang word for 
lightning is " kelos." 

Fig. 4 is called '* Sinai " (" Seni "). These are 
rattan whips, the emblems of Kari's servant, Sinai,^ 
used to whip the winds with, whenever they refused 
to obey his master's commands. Sinai is himself a 
wind, and invisible to all but Kari. Sinai has a 
whip in either hand. The winds do not sit beside 
Kari, but have a place assigned to them in the 
clouds below him, at a place called " Kabut "^ 
(** Kabote ").* The winds which refuse to obey 
Kari are represented by the figure left of Fig. 4 ; 
the slanting, waved lines represent the winds, whilst 
the side lines represent their prison, where they 
await Kari's sentence. 

The beaker-shaped figure (No. 5) which follows is 
called "jag," and represents a wild fruit on which 
Kari feeds ; it was not known, however, whether the 
fruit is represented by the entire figure or by some 
portion of it ; it was only known that the Puttos 
intended it to represent a fruit. 

All winds are here personified ; they are living 
beings, servants of Kari, but invisible to all but 

The next rows (3, 4, 5, and 6) were called "n'nam." 

The zigzag line (Fig. 6) represents Kari's 
lightning. Whenever he is wroth and wishes to 
strike any one, he sends for his servants, who bring 
him a flower which only grows at Kari's dwellings 
place, and which consists of a spike of bell -like 
flowers. Kari then leans forward on his throne and 

* Vaughjm-Sterens' spelling of this ^ ^al. "kabut," or darkness; cf, 

name varies greatly : Sin-ai, Cbin-ai, Newbold, ii. 423 ; V.-St iii. 106. 
Sinnoi, Chinnoi, etc. * Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 107. 

452 DECORATIVE ART part-h 

shakes the flower -spike over the sinner, whereat, 
just as when flint strikes steel, the lightning darts 
whithersoever Kari desires it. Then from the bell- 
like flower -cups themselves, as they strike against 
each other, comes the far-rolling sound of thunder, 
whilst the mightier detonations of the storm are the 
voice of Kari's wrath. The echoes which reverberate 
in the mountains are the answers of Pie, his fellow- 
deity, who remonstrates with him. In the illustration 
the flower is not visible, but only the universal zigzag 

The Semang have an intense dread of lightning, 
their charm against which, employed (it is said) at 
first by " Pie's command,*' consists of three ring- 
lines, incised on the quiver at short intervals.* These 
ring- lines were made in the first instance by the 
Puttos, but that is all the Semang know about them, 
though they trust in them blindly.* 

Fig. 7 represents the god Kari. He is not always 
depicted in this form, but invariably has with him as 
his attribute the zigzag line which represents lightning. 

Fig. 8 is Simei, the daughter of Pie. 

Fig. 9 is Pie. 

It is difficult (says Vaughan-Stevens) to say in 
what relationship the E. Semang (Pangan) consider 
their two gods, Tuhan and Pie, to stand to Kari, or 
whether the two former are modern accretions. It is 
certain, however, that Kari represents the highest 
power, and that Tuhan, as well as Pie, is compelled 
to obey him.® 

Fig. ID represents a Sna-hut. 

1 See, however, p. 400, n. i, other method of stopping lightning was 
ante. by means of blood-throwing. 

* Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 107. An- * Vaughan-Stevens, iiL 109. 


The black indentations below these figures re- 
present the rattan mats on Kari's floor, which were 
made for him by the Chin-oi or Sinoi. 

Fig. II in the fourth row represents the tree 
against which Kari's chair leans. In the branches of 
this tree tarry the still unborn souls, and on its trunk 
Kari cuts a tally for each new-born Semang. This 
tree is called " kla-t5-ong,*' and is full of blossoms.* 
The figures hanging on the right of the drawing are 
the fruits of the tree which are eaten by Kari. 

Next follow Figs. 12, 13, 16, 17, which comprise 
the flowers "sin-goi bawa*' or "kampil" ; and Figs. 14, 
15, which represent the flowers called "chileg langwa."* 

Fig. 18 represents Kari's judgment -seat, con- 
sisting of a short plank which rests at an angle 
against a tree. The wavy lines between the branches 
represent "kalcheng," i.e. fruits which are eaten by 
Kari, and which his servants have set before him. 
The waved line above the seat represents the flowers 
called " sin-goi bewa," which are suspended behind the 
throne on which Kari sits to judge the dead.* 

In the fifth row. Fig. 19 represents a gigantic 
spirit called " Kanteh," which resembles a Semang. 
His office is that of door-keeper of Paradise, and it 
is he who restrains the souls of alien races from 
entering into that part of Paradise which is assigned 
to the Semang. 

Beside him stands (at his left hand, Fig. 20) a 
powerful animal, called " Kangkung," * whose task it 
is to keep tiger-souls out of heaven. 

Next on the left comes Fig. 21, an animal called 

1 Seep. 455, m/Va, where "klaton" * 7J. p. 117. 

is a fruit Perhaps * ' klatung " is right. * Possibly the loris or Malayan sloth ; 

' V.-St. iii. 112. Cp. Bamboo which is in the front rank as "magic" 

No. 3 (p. 457, infra), lb, p. 122. 


" j6labo*," whose function it is to keep the souls of 
wicked Semang from entering heaven.^ 

Next again on the left (Fig. 22) is a beast called 
^* Kangkeng," which keeps out the souls of snakes and 

In the sixth row follow Figs. 23 and 25, the last 
of which has been unavoidably cut in two in obtaining 
the illustration. Fig. 23 is a dark-complexioned 
gigantic spirit "Champa*" called "Abang" (Mai. for 
"elder brother"). No. 25 represents his brother 
^* Chalc^," who is called " Adik " (Mai. for " younger 
brother"). The latter is placed under the former's 
authority, and both are the joint guardians of Tuhan's 
heaven, Tasig. 

Figs. 24, 26, 27 represent the bamboo spears of 
these two brothers. The zigzag figures between 26 
and 27 are the lightning - carrying flowers, which 
belong to Kari, and whose custodians are the two 
gigantic spirits just mentioned. 

The last row, or "name "-row, which is called 
*' chor " ( = name }), is always placed at the end of the 
bamboo, and is covered with a uniform pattern. Its 
decoration varies according to the other patterns on 
the bamboo, but its real significance could not be 
explained. Vaughan-Stevens regards it merely as a 
sort of finishing touch to the rest of the figures.' 

Bamboo (" Gu' '*) No. 2. Height 41 cm.^ 

Here, too, the order of the figures is fixed, but 
no definite explanation is forthcoming of the slant- 
ing line in the topmost panel. 

^ The nearest Semang animal-name ' Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 122. 

known to me is that of " t^labas '' (?= ^ Ibid, p. 124. 

dial **telab&h"), the Malayan sun-bear. ^ Jbid, pp. 124, 125. 


The first row of figures is called **kenachol," 
as in Bamboo No. i. 

Fig. I represents a sleeping chief (Putto) in the act 
of receiving (in a dream) a communication from Pie, 
who acts as Kari's go-between whenever the latter 
wishes to communicate with the great chiefs (Puttos). 

Fig. 2 represents a fruit called "klaton," which 
the great chiefs or Puttos were in the habit of eating.^ 

Figs. 3, 5, 6 are flowers called " klai-yau '' 
("kll-yow"), " bi-chu-ring " (" bee-choo-ring "), and 
*' yawel " (*' ydwell ") ; and Fig. 4 represents a spear 
called "at" ("art"), all these representing the 
insignia of the great chiefs' power. 

Fig. 7. The smaller part of this figure at the 
top represents the mallet employed in the manufacture 
of bark-cloth, the larger part of the figure at the 
bottom represents the bark-cloth itself. 

The following panels are called " n*nam," as in 
Bamboo No. i. 

Fig. 8. These represent "taduk" flowers {cf. 
Bamboo Na i, Fig. 2), p. 450, ante. 

Fig. 9. This object is called "bu-hu" ("boo- 
hoo ") ; it represents a special kind of bark-cloth which 
only the great chiefs wore.^ 

Fig. ID is a magic stone pillow, called ** sni-ding," 
on which the great chief lays his head when he wishes 
to get information by means of dreams. 

Fig. II. A Putto asleep with his head resting 
upon the pillow (Fig. 10).* 

Fig. 12. A mat called "chi-on," only used by 
the great chiefs. It was manufactured from rattan 

* Seep. 453, ante, of Mai. " buluh " = bamboo. Cp. p. 

* QtuEreiioxsi Sem. "buyu" = Mal. ^\o^ infra, 

** mtogkuang," or rather a corruption ' Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 124. 

456 DECORATIVE ART part ii 

("rotan s6ga"). This figure, tc^ether with Figs, 
lo, II, signifies that the Putto is receiving instruc- 
tions in a dream how a mat is to be made. 

Fig- '3- **Angkel,"a magic pillow made of wood 
which serves the same purpose as the stone pillow 
represented by Fig. lo. 

Fig. 14. A great chief asleep with his head 
upon the wooden pillow (Fig. 13). 

Fig. 15. A spear-point. This figure, tc^ether with 
Figs. 13, 14, signifies that the great chief is dream- 
ing how a spear-point should be made. 

Fig. 16. A sleeping chief (Putto). By his side 
(Fig. 17) is his servant (Hala).^ 

Fig. 18 represents two large black stones, which 
the great chiefs or Puttos lay tc^ether at an angle, so 
as to form a V-shaped trough, into which their magic 
flowers and other materia medica may be put.* 

Fig. 19. A tree-bark filter and a water-vessel, 
signifying the pouring of water over the ingredients, 
so that it passes through the filter into the vessel 
in question, which is placed on a sort of stand 
(Fig. 2oy 

Fig. 16 represents a Putto dreaming of sending 
his servant (Fig. 17) to gather flowers and herbs for 
medicines and to prepare them for use. The servant 
is shown pressing down the flowers into the trough 
formed by the two stones described above. 

Figs. 21 and 22 represent flowers called "tu-ag" 
and "jampong," the ashes of which are used 

^ In Semang **H&1&"= ** medicine- chiefe (Sna-huts) of the Pangan use 

man." bones and teeth, which they grate on 

' Among the medicines of the Puttos a stone with a little water, as also the 

love-potions were also mentioned to Sakaido. Cf, V, B, G» A, zjrr, {1^2) 

Vaughan-Stevens ; but the ingredients 468. 

could not be ascertained. The lesser ' Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 124. 


The last row with the ornamental border is called 
" chor," as in Bamboo No. i. 

Bamboo (" Gu' ") No. 3. Length 40 cm} 

1. **Tinjo'' or "Tin-jui" ("Tinjoe"), a kind of 

2. " Sin-goi bewa," the name of a flower.^ 

3. "Kll-cha."* 

4. "" 

5. "Aii."* 

6. *' Sin-goi b€wa." 

Fig. I represents a terrible kind of saurian, with 
jaws shaped like those of centipedes, but which in 
length are equal to the human arm. It is called 
** Tin-jui." No one knows where the creature lives, 
yet the great chiefs (Puttos) were able to conjure it up. 
Directly they were angry with any one they called this 
beast, which killed the evil-doer.*^ Since the Puttos 
have disappeared, no one has seen this saurian again. 

Figs. 2 (6) and 3 are flowers called ** sin-goi 
bewa " and " kli-cha," which were of avail in exorcis- 
ing the reptiles represented by Figs, i and 4. 

Fig. 4 represents a creature called " Chig-eg,*' 
which performs the same functions as the " Tin-jui," 
but only kills women. 

Fig. 5 depicts the monkey called " Aii '' : a long- 
tailed monkey resembling the Semnopithecus or 
**lotong." When the winds sent by Kari as 
messengers to the earth do not make sufficient haste, 
Aii comes and chastises them with rattan whips.* 

1 Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 125, 126. * Evidently a "sending" of some 

^ See p. 453, ante, kind. Lizards are often closely con* 

» In original " kli-char '* [sic), nected with magicians. 

* See p. 449, ante. « Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 126. 

458 DECORATIVE ART fart ii 

Bamboo {*'Gu***) No. 4. Height, 41 cm} 

Bamboo No. 4 is of quite a different kind from 
the foregoing. The designs upon it only represent 
" kli-cha *' flowers. When the great chiefs or Puttos 
laid these flowers in water, they could drive the 
poisonous sea-snake " Ikub " back to the bottom of 
the sea.^ 


[The ** tahong " is a bamboo tube which is worn 
secretly under the girdle by expectant mothers. The 
interior of the tube, when each extremity has been 
stoppered, is used to contain flint and steel for making 
fire and so forth. The main part of the pattern consists 
of two portions, the upper part of which consists of 
zigzag ring -lines, which serve as a charm against 
nausea and vomiting ; the lower part contains a 
number of rows or columns, each representing one of 
the stages through which the woman has to pass from 
the moment of conception till the birth.^ 

As mentioned, the " tahong " is carefully concealed 
by the Semang women under the girdle, and may not 
be seen by any strange man. The husband cuts the 

^ Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 127. column-lines (at the end of the black 

* Le, **Ikub Lingang" ( = Mal. chevroned line) represent the child in 

** alar berang"), a sea-snake of a kind the womb. The black chevrons form 

believed to be most venomous. In the connection between child and 

case a Semang wished to employ these mother, the latter being represented as 

flowers, they did not receive their much the larger. At the right extremity 

magic power until he received the of the vertical chevroned line is a row 

*< gu"* as well. Vaughan-Stevens, iii. of discs, on the side of the mother, 

1 26. which represents the loss of blood by 

^ It is difficult to fix these stages thetearingof the vessels at birth (ti^At/.). 

accurately, as the Semang people often [It is perhaps worth while adding 

made mistakes in locating the exact that the word ** tahong" is corioosly 

position of the ailment The following, like Mai. '^tabong,*' a bamboo tube — 

however, is certain: the ring -like a fact which raises some doubt as to 

marks at the point of one of the the genuineness of the word. — W. S.] 




pattern, and an enceinte woman who lacks a ** tahong "